Two Eagle divers advance to NCAA Championships
Eastern Michigan University senior Kelly Hendricks and redshirt junior Danielle Hulvey qualified for the NCAA Championships at the Zone C Diving Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., this past weekend.
Hendricks was asked about how proud EMU diving coach Loren “Buck” Smith was of having her and Hulvey qualify for the NCAAs.
“He was very happy to take both of us to NCAAs,” Hendricks said. “I am sure he was proud of us and proud of himself for taking two of his divers to the NCAAs.”
When asked about Hulvey making her first NCAA Championships, Hendricks said, “I am really happy she is going. She really deserves it and has worked hard to get to this point.”
In the women’s three-meter dive, Hendricks had the best score for EMU with 268.25 in the preliminary round, which put her in 18th and was barely enough for her to qualify for the finals.
Hendricks bounced back in the finals by scoring a 594.80, which put her in eighth.
In the women’s one-meter dive, Hendricks and Hulvey finished first and second with scores of 587.50 and 567.50, respectively.
Both of their scores were good enough to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Lauren Dark finished 18th in the one-meter dive with a total score of 506.60.
Redshirt freshman Melynee Saya missed the cut as she placed 19th in the preliminaries with 251.70.
In the men’s one-meter dive, senior Jeffrey Craig placed 10th with 300.75 in the preliminary round.
In the finals, Craig scored a 346.05 to move into the top 10.
Senior Andrew Saunders finished 16th in the one-meter dive preliminaries with a 294.20.
In the finals, Saunders moved up three spots to 13th with a 342.45.
Sophomores Sage Stevens and Dakoda Johnson did not qualify for the finals, as they did not place
in the top 18.
Craig and Saunders finished ninth and 10th in the three-meter dive with times of 743.55 and 740.85, respectively.
As in the case with the one-meter dive, Stephens and Johnson failed to qualify for the finals in the three-meter preliminaries.
Johnson finished in 33rd place with a score of 279.95, while Stephens scored a 236.40, which was good enough for 47th place.
Craig was asked whether or not he is disappointed in not making the NCAA’s in his final season.
“Not at all,” he said. “It was close, but a great way to end my career. I’m satisfied with my performance and I’m ready for retirement.”
There is one thing Craig admits he will miss about being apart of the EMU diving team.
“Competing,” he said. “I love diving in front of a home crowd defending the house.”
The men’s and women’s diving teams only competed in the one and three-meter events as there were no representatives for platform diving.
The event was held at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette.
The women’s one-meter championship preliminaries featured the most entries, 57.
The men’s three-meter, women’s one-meter and three-meter championships are tied for the least entries with 18.
Other than EMU, the schools represented in the championships were Purdue University, University of Kentucky, Indiana University, Ohio State University, Illinois State University, University of Notre Dame, Oakland University, University of Louisville, University of Akron, Northwestern University, Ohio University, Youngstown State University, University of Evansville, University of Toledo, Southern Illinois University, Western Kentucky University, Wright State University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Youngstown State University, University of Illinois and Ball State University.
As of press date, Hendricks and Hulvey have qualified for the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis from March 21-23.
The EMU swimmers who qualified will be announced at a later date.