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Divers compete in San Antonio to reach Olympic trials

Local middle schoolers compete in diving events

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SAN ANTONIO – The Northside ISD Swim Center is the site of the USA Diving Synchronized National Championships Wednesday through Sunday.

A group of more than 300 divers from around the country are in San Antonio for the event.

Michael Wright, a coach from Tennessee and 2010 national champion himself, explained the gist of synchronized diving.

"A lot of our divers start off individually, and you kind of search for that partner. About the same height, same build, same speed. And if you can put them together, things will kind of work out," Wright said.

Two of the competitors in Wednesday's events are students from San Antonio. Marcel Mateos Sallas, 12, from Lopez Middle School, and Chase Marafioto, from Northwood Elementary, are partners.

Marafioto said his mother is the the one who encouraged him to pursue diving.

"I was at the public pool, and I kept getting really close to the board, and my mom's like, 'Hey, let's try diving.' Then I joined and I loved it," he said.

He said he practices six days a week, usually after school.

"At meets like today, I woke up at 5:40 a.m. to come to the pool at 6:30 a.m." Marafioto said.

On Friday, competitors will take part in an Olympic trials qualification event. Click here for more information on the event.