Today is the conclusion of what has been a successful summer for diver CJ Simmons.
The 15-year-old Greenbrier High School sophomore is in Minneapolis, Minn. competing in the USA Diving Age Group National Championships 14-15 boys 3-meter.
He first qualified at the Summer Junior Region 7 Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on June 16. He advanced to the national event after placing 12th at Summer Junior Zone D Championships in Moultrie, Ga., on July 14, and will go up against 59 of the best divers in his category.
He is also an alternate diver for the 1-meter.
“I feel pretty good, I’m excited,” said Simmons. “AAU was like high school a little bit, but at USA the competition level is way above high school. There’s a lot of really, really good kids around here.”
His coach Jim Tingen thinks he has the tools to do well in diving.
“CJ is self driven, self-controlled, professional, confident yet humble and he is a very hard worker,” Tingen said. “He is ranked just under the top 100 in the nation as a 14-15. I expect he will finish at 75 in the country or better.”
As a freshman, Simmons finished seventh in the 1-meter at the 2013 Georgia High School 1-5A State Swimming and Diving Meet. He hopes this meet will be a springboard to securing his future goals.
“I really want to get a scholarship off of it and go to the Olympic trials in 2016,” Simmons said. “Because I’m only 15, this is the last meet of the season until next year starts back up. This is like the biggest meet of the year.”