For Rangers senior Ryan Arata, his illustrious athletic career already contained staggering numbers - nine All-American times, two state records and eight state titles, highlighted by 100 three consecutive backstroke crowns and two more in the 100 butterfly.
Last week, the Stanford-bound Arata checked off yet another accomplishment; he recorded a 5A state-qualifying score in diving at the Diving Invite at Monument Country Club. He now has qualified for the state meet in every swimming and diving event, the first documented achievement of that type in recent history.
“A couple of weeks ago, I got my last state cut in swimming in the 100 breaststroke,” Arata said. “I thought it would be pretty cool if I made it in diving.”
Arata made it clear that he won’t dive at the upcoming 5A state meet in Fort Collins, instead concentrating on his swimming events.
What is your diving background?
I learned to dive a long time ago, but only doing it in practice for the past three weeks. Two years ago, three of the seniors did a few weeks of diving. I wanted to do that when I was a senior.
Was it your goal to qualify for state?
I definitely wasn’t expecting it. It’s not easy to do. I went into the meet to have fun. I was on pace after the first six, then fell off had my three worst dives. I had some of my highest scores on my last two dives.
What does earning the Rotary Champions Award (as the top scholar-athlete in the greater Colorado Springs area) mean to you?
It’s pretty big. It was a huge ceremony, and there were a lot of people with impressive achievements in athletics, academics and public service. It was pretty cool to be picked.
What kind of public service did you perform?
I got involved in tutoring, helping anyone out at lunch. If someone had a problem in physics or needed to review for a chemistry test, I was able to help them out. I could help out in science and math. I wasn’t very much help with Spanish.
With the London Olympics coming up, who are you cheering for the most?
Bobby Bollier goes to Stanford and he’s one of the top 10 in the nation in the butterfly. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the (Olympic) trials in the 200 butterfly.
Do you have any other talents?
I play acoustic guitar and sing a little.
Favorite Stanford athlete
( ) Woods (x) Elway ( ) Sanders (Summer) ( ) McEnroe
Best comfort food
(x) Mac and cheese ( ) clam chowder ( ) chili ( ) stew
Top recent movie
( ) Hunger Games ( ) Three Stooges (x) Avengers ( ) The Lorax
Band with best guitars
( ) Foo Fighter ( ) Metallica ( ) Pink Floyd (x) Goo Goo Dolls