OLNEY, Md. (WDVM) – Max Weinrich has always been drawn to the diving board.
“Seeing the older kids do flips and stuff,” Weinrich said. “That just looked a lot more fun to me than swimming laps.”
Weinrich, a senior at Sherwood high school, is committed to dive collegiately at Indiana University. On February 25, he will compete in the MPSSAA state championships in College Park, Maryland.
“He’s definitely in an echelon of his own,” Sherwood swim and dive coach Ryan Burnsky said.
Weinrich competed at the 2021 Summer Olympic swimming and diving trials as a junior in high school, it was a special moment, because of the opportunities he’s had to miss.
Weinrich, who started diving when he was seven-years-old, won a state championship as a freshman. He sustained a wrist injury during his sophomore season, but still managed to compete in place in the state championship. In his junior season, the entire season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This has been my drive in life and this has been almost my purpose for many many years,” Weinrich said. “So without that, it was tough.”
Weinrich, who normally trains throughout the week, wasn’t even able to go to his local pool in the spring of 2020. In the summer of 2020, he was able to compete at an outdoor pool, but it did not have his usual training set up.
“Spending time away from the sport and coming back to it,” Weinrich said. “I was like, man I miss this.”
In a short span, Weinrich went from not being able to go to his pool and missing months of training, to advancing past the initial round at the Olympic trials.
“The fact that he can persevere and to kind of just rebound and always stay positive, skip a whole year of high school diving and club diving,” Burnsky told WDVM. “And then come back and start it off with Olympic trials, the kid is full throttle.”
Weinrich faced another disappointing reality this year. He was going to compete in the 2021 FINA World Junior Diving Championships in December, but since they were being held in Kyiv, Ukraine, he tells WDVM that team USA was not able to attend. Despite missing out on that competition, Weinrich says the Olympic Trials were a learning experience.
“Being able to live in that environment where the pressure is on,” Weinrich said. “The stakes are high and getting that experience, there were a lot of really good takeaways.”
While Weinrich is preparing for his high school state championships on February 25 and to begin his collegiate career in Bloomington soon, he also has his sights set on the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.
“That’s the next one on the radar,” Weinrich said.