Senior swimmer finishes third at NCAA championships
Led by senior and All-American Kelly Hendricks’ third-place finish in the three-meter dive, the Eastern Michigan University women’s swimming and diving team completed their season at the NCAA championships held at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind., this past weekend.
Hendricks earned All-American status with a score of 356.05 in the three-meter dive final. Ironically, she scored better in the preliminary round, putting up a 360.30, which was good for second.
“It was a spectacular way for Kelly to end her career,” EMU swimming coach Peter Linn said.
Former EMU diver Taylor Reckert said Hendricks is always consistent.
“She is really good at performing under pressure,” Reckert said. “She was up against schools from across the country, so it was awesome that she was in the top three and [it] was an amazing way to end her diving career.”
Redshirt junior Danielle Hulvey failed to qualify for the finals in the three-meter dive as she finished in last place with a 218.80.
Hulvey and Hendricks qualified in 14th and 15th place for the one-meter dive final with scores of 291.25 and 291.15, respectively.
In the final, Hendricks placed 11th with a score of 315.50, while Hulvey finished in 16th with a score of 288.55.
Senior Briana Emig competed in her final two events as an EMU swimmer: The 500- and 1,650-yard freestyles.
In the 500 final, Emig touched the wall at 4 minutes, 51.77 seconds, which placed her 57th overall.
Emig fared better in the 1,650 final with a time of 16:21.09, good enough for 27th.
Emig had good things to say about her time at nationals.
“It has been awesome to represent EMU at nationals,” she said. “I am proud to have raced among the fastest Division I swimmers in the country.”
Emig said choosing to swim for Linn was the best decision she ever made.
“I owe more than just my swimming success to coach,” she said.
Linn said he is extremely proud of Emig.
“[Briana] made us a better team,” he said.
The Eagles had the highest score among all of the Mid-American Conference teams with 23.
“Because of our divers, Eastern placed in the top teams here,” Emig said. “And schools such as Michigan and other colleges from across the country being here makes this a bigger deal. We owe this [effort] to our coaches Peter Linn and [Loren] ‘Buck’ Smith. It just goes to show how strong our program is and is only getting better.”
The University of Georgia won the national championship and is their first since 2005.
A total of 322 female student-athletes competed in the championships (281 swimmers and 41 divers).
Linn and Smith were the only Eagle coaches to make the trip to Indianapolis.
ESPNU will carry a 90-minute recap of the women’s championships Wednesday at 8 p.m.
While the women’s season has ended, senior Jacob Hanson will be the Eagles’ lone representative at the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships March 28-30 at the IU Natatorium.
Hanson is scheduled to compete in the 100 and 200 backstroke.
No EMU male divers qualified for the championships next week.
A total of 270 male student-athletes will compete in the championships (235 swimmers and 35 divers).
ESPNU will also carry a 90-minute special on the men’s championships Apr. 10 at 8 p.m.
You can find results of the event on www.easternecho.com/sports.