Watching Greg Rodriguez execute a dive off the one-meter board is like seeing a finely-tuned stunt.

The 17-year-old Alice High School senior confidently walks onto the board. With the precession of a world-class gymnast, he measures his stances and his approach. Straight-faced, he goes over the routine and technique of the approaching dive one last time before clearing his mind of everything.

For a moment, all that makes up his world — cheerleading, his class rank, his future at the University of the Incarnate Word and all of his family and friends — everything... is cleared. It’s just him and the board. There’s a pause, followed by a furious approach and a series of turns and techniques and a splash.

By the time he splashes down, Rodriguez knows if it was a weak dive or the kind that gets the attention of judges.

Based on his performance through the last two seasons, Rodriguez’s dives usually fall somewhere between fundamentally sound to spectacular. That’s why he’s again making an appearance in this year’s Class 5A UIL State Swimming and Diving Championships. Alice High School’s all-time winningest male diver is competing at Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the campus of the University of Texas Friday and Saturday.

Rodriguez is one of the few divers in Texas who are able to complete their high school careers in the most prestigious competition in the state. It’s not a bad finish for a diving career which also didn’t happened.

See, Rodriguez grew up spending his summers with the Alice Swim Team, but before his freshman year at Alice High School, he felt swimming was behind him. He wanted to focus solely on school and cheerleading. That's when his mom, Alice coach Lisa Cisneros, stepped in. She insisted that he continue to compete in some aspect of swimming, and that’s how Rodriguez was introduced to diving. With his strong tumbling background, it seemed like a perfect fit, but even with a tumbling and gymnastics resume which began when he was 8, diving didn’t come easy.

“I hated it at first,” Rodriguez said. “Because of my background, they said it would be easy for me, but it really wasn’t. I struggled a lot in my freshmen and sophomore year. I hated it so much, but eventually, I started getting better and better.”

While Rodriguez still placed in meets as a freshman and sophomore, his dive career blossomed last year as a junior. He qualified to regionals and earned a spot in the state meet, setting an Alice High School record for dive points along the way.

A junior in 2017, Rodriguez surpassed expectations at the state meet. He entered the meet ranked No. 16 in the state. He made the finals and then placed 15th out of 24 divers.

His senior year has been equally as successful. He broke his own school record for dive points, and he’s entering the state competition filled with confidence, something he was lacking last year.

“I was so nervous last year,” Rodriguez said. “Everyone at the state meet was so good, I was really nervous. This year I think I’m going to be a lot more comfortable.”

While it’ll be Rodriguez's final high school meet, his diving career is likely going to continue at the collegiate level. He was initially set to attend the University of Texas in the fall, but he’s had a change of heart because of diving.

Since coaches at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio have shown an interest in his abilities, Rodriguez is attended UIW in the fall where he expects to join to school’s dive team.