MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s not every year that two brothers both make the state tournament in diving.
“I’d say them not being twins, yeah, it’s pretty rare!” Coach Henry Ewers said.
But Jack and Elijah Grabinski from Sauk Rapids-Rice are pretty rare talents. And yes, it turns out, it runs in the family.
“My dad was a diver in high school and went to state his senior year,” Jack said. “We grew up with a trampoline doing flips and stuff out in the yard on a trampoline. Did gymnastics when I was little. So, just kind of … what my family does I guess.”
Jack’s the oldest, a senior, two years older than Elijah — and the defending state champ. His biggest obstacle to repeating might be his little brother. After Thursday’s semifinals, Elijah’s currently sitting in first place ahead of Saturday’s finals. Jack’s in third.
Yeah, the brothers are two of the top three. That classic sibling rivalry thing, pushing each other, a huge part of why they’re where they are today.
“It’s always like [laughs], when he does something, like, it’d be nice like if I could get close to it, like, someday,” Elijah said.
“Well, you’re there right now, so [laughs]!” Jack said.
“It’s a very mature competition between the two, for two brothers like that. My brothers and I, yeah, we’d be scrapping when we’re younger, but the older we got, yeah, we kind of got there,” Ewers said. “But these guys, it’s just natural. It’s a good, healthy environment with those two competing against each other.”
Which, of course, should make for a pretty interesting Saturday, when they’ll duke it out in the state finals. Their feelings as they get ready for what will be a pretty big day for their family?
“I’m just going to try to relax and not think about it too much. I think about my little brother beating me it might make me a little stressed out [laughs]!” Jack said. “I’ll try not to give him too hard of a time tonight, but I got some good dives in the finals … I should hit them. Hopefully I’ll hit them.”
“I’m just going to do them, whatever happens happens,” Elijah said.