St. Cloud Times, Minn., Andy Rennecke column
Feb 04, 2013 (St. Cloud Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Chris White and Luke Weber have known each other since their junior high school days.
White attended Rochester Mayo and White went to Mankato West. Having competed in the same conference for years, the two got to know each other pretty well. When they went on a recruiting visit to St. Cloud State, they both ended up getting the tour on the same day.
It's four years later and the two are about to end their stellar St. Cloud State diving careers. The two have gotten even closer after spending a year as dorm roommates and four years as teammates.
"He's the longest rival I've ever had and he's the best friend I've had in this sport," White said. "We've known each other for more than eight years. We know each other really well and we've always gotten along."
Weber is glad he ended up at the same school as White.
"We've been competing against each other since seventh grade. It's always been a friendly competition and we've always been close to each other with our skills," Weber said. "We are polar opposites with our personalities and that's probably why we get along so well.
"We're both competitive and passionate about this sport. On top of that, we're super respectful of each other."
The relationship has remained strong despite White winning national titles in the 1- and 3-meter dives last season. Weber was runner-up to White in the 1-meter at nationals.
"It was definitely the most exciting athletic event of my life," Weber said. "I've never been at something that intense. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to have both of us be that close. I wouldn't have changed the outcome for anything. It was great just to be a part of it."
White said the two were hoping that they could finish 1-2 in both events going in.
White is hoping they can do the same again this year when nationals take place on March 6-9 in Birmingham, Ala.
"We're kind of planning on that," White said. "I'm hoping we can do it again this year. We want to place very high. I'll be happy as long as one of us wins.
"Winning two titles last year was great. I set a goal just to win one. To win both of them was way beyond my expectations. It was even better having Luke right there next to me."
Both admit that Weber is the better 1-meter diver and White is better at the 3-meter. In high school, Weber was the better diver. The two are as close as they can be technically and in the degree of difficulty in their dives.
"We're so close at every competition that we might as well tie all the time," White said. "There's always great competition out there, but I feel my best competition is on my own team."
Said Weber: "It's a coin flip every day as to who is better. He could be great one day on the 1-meter and then maybe I'll be better the next day. Our scores are always so close.
"Both of us wouldn't be where we are without each other. We both have an internal drive. That's why we're so close in our scores. He keeps me motivated and makes me practice harder."
The two will be sad to see their careers end. Both aren't quite sure where they'll end up after college, but they'll always remember what they were able to accomplish on the diving board at St. Cloud State.
"I'll miss this and I'll miss him," White said. "This has been a big portion of my life. Some of the best times I've ever had have come on this team. Luke's a good guy. He's loved by everyone."
Weber hopes they can both end their careers with titles at nationals.
"I don't want it to be over, but I know it's coming," Weber said. "I can't wait to be at nationals again. If it goes like last year, it doesn't really matter to me. Just as long as we both do our best. I would love for us each to get one. We'll see what happens.
"Chris is more of a brother than anything else to me.
"There's a lot of respect there and we care about each other. I already have two brothers, but he's become my third."
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