MOULTRIE — The entire 10-member Colquitt County High School diving team is in Atlanta for today’s state championships at The Westminster Schools, although only eight — and perhaps just seven — will compete.

The Georgia High School Association allows just four members from each school to take part and while all four Colquitt County boys and all six girls made qualifying scores, only four girls will take part in the 1-meter championships.

The four girls who will compete are Hannah Moore, Anna Aguero, Ali Lepech and Staci Howard.

Maddie Qurnell and Erin Goodman will be on hand to encourage their teammates.

Moore will be out to regain the state championship she won as a freshman two years ago, but lost to Harrison High’s Sarah Ohr last February. She will be a favorite today.

And teammate Anna Aguero could make a run as well. Aguero was third last year.

Duluth High’s Lexie Bryant, who finished fourth last year, will be in the field again.

Ryan Helms will lead Colquitt County four-man team in the boys event.

Helms won the state championship as a freshman last year.

Owen Blank, who finished third in the state meet last year, will return.

Jacob Russell also is in Atlanta, although whether he can compete is uncertain.

Russell, who finished fourth last year, injured his back on Saturday.

Nic Price also will take part for Colquitt County.

The Colquitt County boys team could get some keen competition from Colllins Hill, which features county record-holder Jordan Horsley, last year’s state runner-up Mark Brochey and Matthew Buckley, who was fifth in 2005.

Like the Colquitt County girls, the Collins Hill boys team had more qualified divers than spots and was forced to leave off three team members.

The Class AAAAA championships will begin at 10 a.m. today. The Class A-AAAA competition, which will feature former Colquitt County High diver Eric Winnard, now at Oconee County, will begin at 1 p.m.

The Colquitt County divers will leave from Atlanta and head to Florida to represent Moss Farms in the Team Orlando All-Star Challenge, which will begin Friday and run through Sunday.

Moss Farms coach Ron Piemonte said he expected 17 of his divers to compete in Orlando.

In the 11-and-under competition, Elizabeth Ann Kirkland, Leah Piemonte, Audrey White and Ronnie Piemonte will take part.

In 14-15, Kelsey Goodman, Ann Perry Blank and Jillian Braun will join Lepech, Helms, Price, Russell and Owen Blank.

Moore, Aguero, Howard, Qurnell and Erin Goodman will compete in the 16-18 age group.

Piemonte said that Aguero and Kirkland might enter the platform events, but that the rest of the divers have not been able to practice on tower enough to be ready.

The team does much of its winter work at the Moultrie YMCA, where there is no tower.

Ron Piemonte said he was eager to see how his team performed in a meet that is expected to include several elite divers.

On hand will be Olympic finalist and Italian champion Tania Cagnotto; German champion Anna Keiss; Russian Olympic gold medalist Julia Pakhalina; Mexican National Team member Miguel Valezquez; and South African Olympic finalist Jenna Dreyer.

Outstanding U.S. divers Heather Bounds, Summer Mitchell and Brittany Viola also will compete.

“It’s a high-level meet,” Ron Piemonte said. “A lot of great teams and a lot of great divers are going. It shows we have some high-level divers. It will be interesting to see where our kids are. It’s a good start to the competitive year.”

The meet will be run by Orlando coach and former Moss Farms coach Jay Lerew and his wife Wendy.

Results will be online at www.divemeets.com.

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