FEDERAL WAY - After receiving his medal, Squalicum's Rylan Korby shed his Squalicum warm up got into a more comfortable black Hawaiian print shirt he picked up while thrift shopping with his teammates.
Just another day at the beach, right?
Not exactly. Korby has been waiting for this day for quite a while.
After three straight top-seven finishes in the Class 2A diving competition, including runner-up finishes as a junior and freshman, Korby finally got to climb to the top of the podium on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the King County Aquatic Center, as he scored a 374.65 in the 11-dive competition.
"It's unbelievable," Korby said. "To finally make it, is unreal. I know how hard I worked to get here, and the reward for all that work is incredible."
So incredible that Korby actually got to celebrate twice, as a scoring mistake caused a shuffling of the divers who finished behind Korby.
All that mattered to Korby was that he had the top spot. The senior becomes the second Squalicum diver to win the title, joining Brian Drake in 2010.
Korby entered the day as the top seed after the semifinals with a score of 262.25, and he held a 13.20-point lead entering the final three dives on Saturday. He said his fifth dive, a backwards one-and-one-half summersault on Friday, Feb. 15, might have been the key.
"It was a dive I've been struggling with my consistency on," Korby said. "It's really been bothering me, but I got it. It wasn't a perfect dive, but when I did a good job on it, I knew I was going to win."
With that dive behind him, all Korby had to do was "keep my feet together and my toes pointed" on Saturday.
He did that and ended up winning by more than 32 points over Archbishop Murphy's Elliott Forde.
Korby's score was actually the third highest in 2A state meet history. The only person to beat him out was Port Angeles' Austin Farhrenholtz, who won the title in 2011 and 2012.
Reach David Rasbach at email@example.com or 360-715-2286.
Year Diver School Points
2009 Nick Hutchinson Sehome 334.90
2010 Brian Drake Squalicum 333.40
2011 Austin Farhrenholtz Port Angeles 376.10
2012 Austin Farhrenholtz Port Angeles 427.20
2013 Rylan Korby Squalicum 374.65
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.