Klemm Aims For State Title

ROCKFORD-Rockford has had its share of State Champion divers over the years. Chip Geiger, Rob Bolinger, Kent Griswold, Matt Wright and Tom Wright all won State Championships for Guilford. Now another Rockford diver is ready to go after a state championship. He's Christian Life senior Michael Klemm.

The boys state meet will be held this weekend. Klemm finished seventh at State last year. He has one of the top two Sectional scores going into State this weekend. That's impressive for a guy who has been diving only four years. He's been guided by long-time Rockford diving coach Gene Cassioppi. Cassioppi has coached all the local diving greats.

"I'm pretty excited, and I think it's going to be a lot more calm for me this year," says Klemm. "I'll be alot less stressed because I've been there before, and I know some people."

"He's right up there with the good ones," says Cassioppi. "I'd say he's right up there with the dives he does, what he's capable of doing, maybe not as consistent as some of the kids I've had, but he's capable of doing all the dives."

The last male diver from Rockford to win State was Guilford's Tom Wright in 1991.

*Note Ron Merriott of Rockford won a bronze medal in diving in the 1984 Olympics.  He was not listed above with the other Rockford IHSA State Champions because he was not a State Champion, however Merriott is most likely the greatest diver to come out of Rockford.

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