Freshman Josiah Rosales-Cristales learned to dive via YouTube; now he’s City champion

The story of freshman diver Josiah Rosales-Cristales of Hawkins High will make you smile on any day.

He taught himself how to dive through videos on YouTube growing up in South Los Angeles. At age 4, he was so excited to try diving at the neighborhood pool that he didn’t tell the truth about his age.

“He lied about his age and told them he was older and that’s how they allowed him to use the spring board,” his mother, Sabrina, said.
On Wednesday at the City Section diving championships at Palisades High, no one knew who Rosales-Cristales was.

“Honestly, I never thought I’d win,” he said.
Except he did win.

The 14-year-old freshman accumulated a total of 278.80 points in 11 dives to outscore a trio of Palisades boys on the 1-meter board at Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center. One of three judges awarded him an 8 (of a possible 10 points) on his favorite dive, an inward pike, and he took the lead in round seven.

“I was very surprised to win, I was worried at first but as I did more dives I realized I had a chance at first or second,” he said. “I enjoy the rush of the waves towards my face as I go in the water.”

After placing fifth last year, Palisades senior Parker Connor sprung to the girls’ title with a cumulative score of 443.95, beating Granada Hills’ Ava San Jose by 17.75 points.
onnor’s highest score of the day was an 8.5 on a one-half flip with a front full twist that she purposely picked among her first dives. Connor not only won a medal but also earned 20 valuable points that will count toward Palisades’ team total at the City swim finals Saturday.
Connor drastically improved on last year’s effort (377.95) when Elle Crisostomo of Harbor Teacher Prep won with a score of 413.80.
This was only the first experience for Rosales-Cristales.

“Yes I want to come back and defend my title next year, absolutely!” he said.

Rosales-Cristales has hearing aids but doesn’t let anything stop him from succeeding. He played basketball, soccer and baseball before high school but thanks to YouTube, he keeps learning new dives.
“I’ll give it a try,” he had told his mother about joining the Hawkins swim team.

And now he can wear a medal around his neck to show off his City championship.




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