It was a passion that Tim Barrett couldn't let go of. At age 12, after two years of diving, he decided to put that sport on hold. It wasn't until a year and a half later that he missed the excitement that came from spinning and twisting into a pool of water from heights far taller than his own body.
"I just realized that I missed it a lot," said Tim, now a 16-year-old sophomore at Greenbrier High School, where he competes on the school's swim team.
"It does take a lot of work and a lot of time, but it's fun."
Tim spends an estimated eight hours a week practicing his diving and says summer practices are longer.
"During the summer, we go to Columbia four days a week to practice and dive in Augusta one day a week," he said, adding that he takes lessons at South Carolina Divers from coach Dave Suba. "Dave lives near Columbia, and they have better facilities that we train at."
Greenbrier High School swim coach Holly McCorkle said Tim helps the boys team by placing first in the diving competition.
Tim Barrett is a swimmer at Greenbrier High School who has been beaten only once this season. Last year, Tim placed fourth in the state as a freshman. He practices diving eight hours a week during the school year and travels to Columbia four days a week to practice in the summer.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"This often scores us enough points to win the meet," McCorkle said. "Tim is an asset not only in diving, but also in his swimming events. Tim's hard work and dedication make him an outstanding athlete."
Tim, who leads youth worship services at The Vineyard and plays guitar in the church's praise band, has only been beaten once this season, and even then the scores were relatively close, McCorkle said.
According to Tim, each event is scored on a zero to 10 scale by three judges.
Their combined score is multiplied by the degree of difficulty - the harder a dive, the higher the number - and a total score is derived for the dive.
"I do six to 11 dives depending on the type of competition," said Tim, an A/B honor student. The degree of difficulty also includes the required spins and twists, along with the optional dives that competitors do.
"The voluntary dives that are actually required are front, back, reverse, inward and twister," said Tim, who plays the trumpet in the Wolfpack marching and concert bands. "You have to have one from each of those, and the degree of difficulty on those cannot be higher than 9.0."
For the optional dives, the degree of difficulty cannot add to higher than 12.0.
While Tim is exploring the possibility of attending college on a diving scholarship, he's adamant that he doesn't want to make a career out of diving.
"I really don't want to have a career in diving," he said. "I really want to go into cinematography."
Tim's family, including parents Bill and Kathy Barrett, of Evans, has long had a hobby of recording and editing videos of events through the years. The family has recently started recording wedding videos.
"It's really a family hobby that I really enjoy and think I could make a career out of," Tim said.
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