published Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

GPS star Wilson to dive for Vols

KNOXVILLE — Recent Girls Preparatory School graduate Julianne Wilson, a high school state diving champion, was announced Tuesday as the latest addition to the University of Tennessee aquatics program.

She is the Lady Vols’ 10th freshmen for 2010-11. All were high school All-Americans.

Wilson, an All-American the last two years, was the state 1-meter champion in 2007 and 2010, setting the school 1-meter record with 497.40 points this year. She also holds the school record in the high jump and was a three-time All-American in cheerleading, according to the UT release. She won the GPS Headmaster’s Athlete of the Year award as a senior.

“Julianne is an excellent student who is an extremely talented diver with exceptional athletic ability, but she has shared her athleticism with track, dance and cheerleading,” Lady Vols diving coach Dave Parrington said in the release. “I am excited she will now be devoting all of her competitive juices toward diving, which bodes well for the Lady Vol swimming and diving team.”

GPS coach John Woods pointed out Tuesday evening that Wilson “hasn’t done a lot of diving outside of high school” because of all her other activities, and she had made plans to attend Tennessee before deciding to dive for the Lady Vols.

“She was more of a dancer when she began diving,” Woods said, crediting GPS diving coach Soso Elbekidze with helping Wilson make the transformation. “She was in ballet and transferred some of that ability to diving — and rapidly. She was a state champion as a freshman.”

Wilson was injured and did not participate in the state meet as a sophomore, and she finished second in Tennessee to the national diving champion as a junior. Then she reclaimed the title this year.

“She’s amazing, and she has a world of potential,” Woods said. “We’re all really excited to see her continuing in her diving career.”

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