St. Johns brothers, divers aiming for state title

St. Johns brothers, divers aiming for state title

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St. Johns brothers, divers aiming for state title

Brock (left) and Cayden (right) Petrak are gunning for the Division 3 state diving title.

Brock (left) and Cayden (right) Petrak are gunning for the Division 3 state diving title.

ST. JOHNS – St. Johns senior Brock Petrak doesn’t hesitate to say who he thinks the better diver is.

“It’s always been understood that Cayden (Petrak) is just a little bit better than I am because he’s had that extra club training,” Brock said of the competition between he and his younger brother. “I’m not afraid to admit that, because it looks better when I beat him.”

Brock isn’t too bad himself, either.

The senior diver placed seventh at the Division 3 state meet a season ago, just weeks after winning the 1-meter diving event at the CAAC Blue meet — an event he said his younger brother was predicted to win. But Cayden, now a sophomore, upped his older brother at the state meet, finishing fourth in his first year of high school.

The two brothers, who train with Spartan Diving Club, hold the top two diving scores in the Lansing area, with Cayden resting at the mountaintop. They’re both hoping it still looks that way in a few weeks, as both brothers are setting out to grab the top-2 spots at the state meet.

“The goal is to go one and two, honestly,” said Brock, who will compete against Cayden at Thursday’s regional meet. “I definitely think Cayden can take first. No matter how things play out, we’ll both probably place in the top 5. It’s definitely possible (to finish first and second), we have that skill set.”

While he’s two years younger, Cayden initiated the love for the sport. He started in sixth grade after former St. Johns diver and Michigan State senior Brennan LaBar, a family friend, pushed him to give diving a try. And after a couple of years watching his younger brother, Brock decided to hop on the diving board as a freshman.

Brock said 50 percent of their relationship revolves around the sport.

“We’ll go home and connect our phones to the television and watch our dives from past meets,” Cayden said. “We’ll look at them, see what we need to do different.”

Redwings diving coach Jim Makarauskas, who has been the program’s diving coach eight of the last nine years, said the relationship between the two brothers is evident in the water, and it’s made for a competitive year.

“The relationship they have, they feed off each other in a positive way,” Makarauskas added. “Their quality of workouts is exceptional. I don’t know if they openly push each other, but if one’s dragging a little bit then … they push on each other until they got the dive right.

“They don’t let each other off the hook.”

Cayden still has two more years to bring home a state title, but he’s focused on now. No matter the order, Cayden wants to be standing next to his brother after his final dive as one of them is crowned a state champion.

“We can do this. We can be the brother pair to go one and two,” Cayden said. “We’re both pushing each other more the past couple of weeks.”

Contact James L. Edwards III at jledwards@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.

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