This weekend paid off big for Lufkin High School junior Carter Wood who came in 6th place at the state diving championships against schools the likes of Highland Park, Katy and Mansfield.

“I’m pretty excited about it. It was really, really close at the end. I’m really excited that I pulled through,” said Wood who was able to clench the place with a score of 411.95.

The competition was held at San Antonio where 16 students from across the state chose some of the most difficult levels of dives to show off their skills.

Wood has been here before. He made 3rd in state with a smaller school district but feels that going to state representing Lufkin was very special.

“It feels really, really good. I’m proud that everyone came and supported me,” said Wood.

The competition was fierce, and Wood felt his last dive was the most difficult but sealed his place among some of the best in the state.

“That dive determined what place I got. That was so close and if I didn’t nail that last dive, I would have stayed in 8th place,” said Wood.

His favorite dive is what he calls the back twister, which is a back one and a half and half twist. He says it just feels really cool.

Proud Lufkin High School Swim Coach on the side of the pool, Eddie Adams, spoke with Wood between dives, recorded his warm-ups and helped him select which dives would be the best for the competition. Adams has been to state competition before, too — 20 plus times. Wood has an excellent chance at receiving All American honors, which would make the 14th student of Coach Adams’ to achieve the title.

“This kid’s amazing, the perseverance, the dedication. The guy that can keep focused as well as he has. He had a couple of dives that were not the greatest, but he stuck through. He’s a true competitor. He has that Pack spirit all the way,” said Coach Adams.

Wood wanted to make sure and give a shout out to his mom who’s always been there for him and is his number one supporter, and his dad who always videos. He is the son of Sabrina and Jarrod Wood. —