Iowa Colony divers

Iowa Colony High School divers Lorelei Marquez (left) and Dyson Nevels proudly pose for a photo on the medal stand after becoming the first student athletes at Iowa Colony HS to ever qualify for a state berth at last weekend's Region 3-4A Swimming and Diving Meet at Lamar High School in Houston.

(Courtesy photo)

The Iowa Colony High School Pioneers competed in the Region 3-4A Swimming and Diving Championships last week. In their first ever regional competition at the 4A level, the girls placed 6th overall, and the boys placed 11th overall.  Freshman Lorelei Marquez  and freshman Dyson Nevels qualified for the 4A Swimming and Diving State Championship Meet.  

Both Marquez and Nevels qualified in the 1-meter diving event.  Marquez qualified with a final score of 301.45, and Nevels qualified with a final score of 285.55.

Iowa Colony head swim/dive coach Valerie Wingerson said both Marquez and Nevels just started diving in October without any experience in the sport.

“In order to compete at the varsity level, they needed to learn  unique dives (at least two fronts, two backs, two reverses, two inwards and two twists),” Wingerson added. “They both learned 11 dives very quickly.

“On average, Lorelei and Dyson learned two to three dives a week, a phenomenal feat.  Throughout the season, Lorelei and Dyson competed in several large invitationals against divers from 5A and 6A schools.  

“Their dives (and scores) improved at every meet  Other coaches even commented on their amazing progress.”

The 4A Swimming and Diving State Championship Meet is Feb. 9-10 at the Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio.  Marquez and Nevels will dive both days.  Marquez is currently seeded third in the girls’ diving competition, and Nevels is seeded fourth on the boys’ side.

This will be also the first year that the UIL has ever held a state swim meet for Class 4A, as well.

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