Thad Ellis, 17
Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School, junior
Thad Ellis, 17, son of Thad and Mary Beth Ellis, is a nationally ranked, premier diver. Diving is something he has known for most of his life. After testing the pool waters as a young child, Thad asked his mom at age eight if he could join a diving team. At age nine, Thad began national competition and springboard training under the guidance of his former coach, Olympic bronze medalist Alexandre Kossenkov.
“I joined Dive Atlanta when I was nine and stayed there for four years, then I switched to the Atlanta Diving Association at Georgia Tech because of the bigger team and better facilities,” he said.
He knew he could get better, and indeed he has.
Ellis, who resides in Buckhead, spends every afternoon down at the Tech natatorium practicing his dives for three hours. He recently went to the Southern Regional Meet in Huntersville, N.C. and placed first.
Thad’s commitment to practice has enabled him to achieve a 5th national ranking in the 18 and under one meter and three meters categories. He has traveled extensively for competitions, from east to west coast, throughout the south and even to Central America. He qualified for an international meet in Shanghai, China only to have to decline due to a broken foot and a fresh start at a new school, MVPS.
He will begin travel this summer to regional competition in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, followed by East Nationals in Maryland, then Senior Zones in Minnesota.
This High School All American Athlete in diving is well on his way to reaching his immediate goals, which include moving up in the Seniors, competing with Olympians and obtaining a college scholarship.
Olympics 2012? “Maybe…I’m still improving. I haven’t really peaked so it depends on how well I do in college,” Ellis said.
His dedication, commitment and beyond-his-years-talent leave this Mount Vernon junior poised to take the diving world by storm.
Editor’s Note: If you know a secondary school student who goes above and beyond at school and in the community, please download a nomination form at www.ReporterNewspapers.net.