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Calvin diver, coach earn national recognition
By Jeff Febus

The College Swimming Coaches Association of America has named Calvin sophomore Erica Deur its NCAA III Women’s Diver of the Year and first-year Calvin diving coach Aaron Paskvan its NCAA III Women’s Diving Coach of the Year.

A graduate of Holland (Mich.) Christian High School, Deur captured the national championship on the one-meter board with an NCAA III Championships record point total of 487 points, breaking the previous record by more than 21 points. Deur then took second on the three-meter board with a score of 476.1 points, less than five points behind national champion Doria Holbrook of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Erica DeurDeur is now a four-time NCAA III All-American as she took second on the one-meter board a year ago and sixth on the three-meter board.

A native of East Moline, Ill., Paskvan coached Deur throughout the weekend and also aided Calvin freshman Casey Herman of Libertyville, Ill., who competed on the one- and three-meter boards, marking the first time in Calvin swimming and diving history that two divers advanced to the national meet in the same year. Herman earned honorable mention All-American honors on the one-meter board, placing 14th. She took 19th on the three-meter board.

Paskvan was thrilled to see Deur win a national title and receive national diver of the year honors.

“I could not be prouder of Erica than I am right now,” Paskvan said. “She is a pure joy to coach. All year long, she brought a positive attitude and a strong work ethic to practice, and it all paid off.”

Paskvan was also proud of Herman’s performance in her first national meet. “Casey was very solid, very consistent,” he said. “That is not easy to do as a freshman at a national meet. She has great potential, and I only see her getting better. She also provided strong support for Erica throughout the meet and Erica did the same for Casey. That’s one of the big benefits of having two divers together at a national meet.”

As for winning national diving coach of the year honors, Paskvan felt very blessed and humbled. “To win this award is a great honor,” he said. “What has been most rewarding for me this year has been the Christian atmosphere of the Calvin men’s and women’s swimming and diving program. The student athletes on both teams carry themselves unbelievably well, and that has been very refreshing for me on a daily basis.”

Paskvan’s coaching has also been very rewarding for the Calvin swimming and diving program, said Calvin head Coach Dan Gelderloos. “Aaron has been a wonderful blessing to our program,” he said. “He not only has great knowledge of the sport of diving, but he also has a way of making practices fun and keeping our divers motivated. He is well-deserving of this award, and I am thrilled to see him recognized like this.”

In total, Calvin produced nine All-America performances, six honorable mention All-America efforts and two national championship finishes.

In addition to Deur’s national title on the one-meter board, Calvin senior Becky Weima of Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian High School won a national title for the third straight year in the 200 freestyle. Weima concluded her Calvin career as a five-time national champion and a 22-time NCAA III All-American including a 12-time NCAA III All-American in individual events.