Mark Anderson is no stranger to the top of the scoreboard.
The senior All-American held a comfortable lead throughout the first four rounds of the three-meter finals at the Texas Diving Invitational on Friday.
But freshman Grayson Campbell had other plans. During his fifth dive, he delivered an inward two-and-a-half somersault to rack up 84 points — the highest score Longhorn fans had seen all day. Campbell grabbed a 442.05-point upset victory after swiping the lead from Anderson with his fifth-round gem.
“It feels great, and words can’t describe my feelings right now,” Campbell said. “On my fifth-round dive, as I was standing there, I was thinking about getting a good hurdle. I knew what I needed to do, as long as I hit the hurdle.”
Anderson slid down to third place with 412.10 points in the final results of the three-meter event. But Campbell still attributed his victory to none other than his greatest inspiration: the two-time reigning Big 12 Diver of the Year.
“Mark Anderson is one of the best divers in the country,” Campbell said. “Training with him makes me want to be a better diver. Watching him dive sparks the competitor inside of me.”
And a true champion always learns from his mistakes in order to prevail once again. In Anderson’s case, it took him less than 24 hours to regain his championship form. He returned to the pool for the Saturday afternoon platform event and captured a 430.75-point win, but not without delivering his best effort.
After five of six rounds, he trailed Arizona State’s David Hoffer by 1.9 points. But his final dive, a back two-and-a-half somersault with a one-and-a-half twist, boosted him to victory.
The Longhorns look to build off their big weekend at the upcoming U.S.A. Diving Winter Nationals on Dec. 15.