LA JOYA – For the second year in a row, La Joya High School divers finished 1st and 2nd at the region 8 meet.
Eddie Barrera took second last year behind teammate Vicente Martinez. This time around, the senior took first.
“This is the third time I’m going (to state) and I’m so excited to not only go, but to go with one of my teammates,” said Barrera.
Joining Barrera on the podium was another Coyote, Jose Luis Rios. The junior took 2nd at regionals, earning his first trip to state.
“It’s pretty nerve racking, but that’s what’s fun,” said Rios. “Since this is my first time going to Austin and looking at the UT center.”
The last few years Barrera, Rios, and the rest of the La Joya swim and dive team haven’t had a place to call home. Their outdoor practice facility in La Joya was unavailable so they had to travel to Mission for workouts.
That all changed when the city built a new, state of the art aquatic center. It opened up two weeks ago just in time for Barrera and Rios to get ready for regionals and state.
“It’s been kind of difficult not having somewhere to practice,” said Barrera. “But now it’s really nice having our own home.”
“It’s going to open a whole new set of doors for us,” said La Joya diving coach Mark Bullard. “We’re hoping our program is able to grow by leaps and bounds.”
The Coyotes get a few more days to enjoy their new diving boards before the state meet begins Friday in Austin.