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Freshman athlete from Garland qualifies for UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet after only 6 months of experience in sport

Rowlett High's Preston Rose is heading to Austin for the UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet. The freshman has only been diving for six months.

GARLAND, Texas — Preston Rose, a freshman at Rowlett High School, joined the dive team six months ago. He never tried the sport before. The closest he got was jumping on a trampoline in his backyard.

Only in his first season of diving, Rose placed first in regionals and made it to the UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet this weekend.

He's one of two freshman to make it to state. Only 24 boys qualify.

"He is the first one here [at practice] every day," said Garland ISD Head Dive Coach Stacy Henderson. 

She said Rose has a lot of natural talent, but his success comes with hard work.

Rose records his practices. 

"I want to see what I'm doing wrong with my dives, what I can do to get better," he said.

What usually takes years to learn, Rose was able to learn in a few months. In Austin at the state meet, Rose will perform 11 dives as the only diver from Garland. 

Some of the athletes he's going against have been club diving for years. Rose said he is going to do his best, but keep level-headed. 

"I'm not going to have my expectations too high. I don't want to get too confident, but I'm going to do my best and I'll see where I get," he said. 

Rose hopes to continue diving throughout high school and get an athletic scholarship in college. 

He will compete at the UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet on Feb.18 and 19.

Rose is traveling to Austin with a senior from Sachse High School, Kyle Scritchfield. Scritchfield is the only swimmer at Garland ISD to make state this year.

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