With former state champion Max Klassen looking on, his two Redmond High little brothers gave the diving boards a serious workout at Saturday’s 4A state meet.
With the first of his final three dives, sophomore Phillip scored several sevens on his reverse 1 1/2 tuck en route to a third-place finish with 354.75 points at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
“I got way up in the air on that one, and was able to time it right for the kick out and fall — drop it in,” said Phillip, who placed ninth at state last season. “I was feeling a lot better today … I was feeling a little sick (on Friday). It was a lot of fun.”
Freshman Eric had one failed dive, but still nailed down 12th place with 286.05 points. According to dad, Matt, the youngster twisted too far on the failed dive and will surely be working on twisting just right next season.
“It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I tried my best,” said Eric of the state experience, noting that his best dive featured two twists (and was nicely executed). “I was a little nervous on my first dive. You pretty much just concentrate on your dive, focus on what’s going on.”
Both divers enjoyed being on the deck together and giving the Mustangs a double dose of Klassen power.
“We both clap for each other, cheer for each other,” said Phillip, noting with a laugh that Eric is the more vocal one of the two, although they both were equally excited during the state weekend.
Dad Matt was poolside during the diving competition and handled video-taping duties for the family.
“We’ve been doing this for like five years now, and we’re really happy for them,” Matt said. “Phillip was placed sixth going into the final three dives and moved his way up. The state meet is just so full of energy. They do the dual meets and then districts to build up to that … the divers get really keyed up for it.”
While pointing to his wife, Cathlyn, in the stands, Matt said with a smile that “it’s her fault” for getting the Klassen boys into gymnastics and eventually diving.
Cathlyn participated in gymnastics and swimming and Matt joked that his cross-country background doesn’t fit into the equation. “I can’t even stand being upside down,” he said.
The Klassens moved away from gymnastics partly to avoid injuries and because there was no boys high-school program.
“Diving was real natural for them,” Matt said.