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Andrew Krafft Earns National Runner-Up Berth on Three-Meter Diving Board at NCAAs

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Calvin College sophomore Andy Krafft came within 1.1 points of claiming a national title on the three-meter board Wednesday night at NCAA III Swimming and Diving Championships. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Krafft was competing at the at IU Natatorium, a facility he has competed in several times at the club level while growing up in Indiana.

Krafft finished second on the three-meter board with a score of 541.55 points, just behind Phil DeVine of Wisconsin-Oshkosh who claimed his second three-meter national title in the last three years with a score of 542.65 points. It marks the third All-America performance of Krafft’s collegiate career. A year ago, Krafft placed third on the three-meter board and second on the one-meter board.

Krafft opened the competition by hanging back in the middle of a pack of 22 divers during the afternoon prelims before mounting a late charge with his final four dives to move up to fifth place with a prelims score of 504.30.

In the evening finals, Krafft picked up the pace, nailing his first three dives to move into second place behind Devine. Heading into the final two rounds, Devine held a 20-point lead but Krafft narrowed the gap with a clutch fifth dive that pulled him to within five points of DeVine heading into the final round. Diving early in the final round, Krafft moved into first place with DeVine needing 47 points to move past Kraft. DeVine did just enough on his final dive, scoring 48.1 points to edge Krafft for the national title.

“Andy did a great job and I couldn’t be prouder of him,” said Calvin diving coach Aaron Paskvan. “I told Andy to go for it in the finals because when you do that, you have no regrets and he did that. I also tip my cap to Phil Devine. We knew coming in that he would be one of the main challengers for the title and he got the job done so congrats to him.”

According to Paskvan, competing at a national meet can be a nerve-wracking experience. “The level of competition is always very high and this year is no different,” said Paskvan. “Andy has done a good job of trusting in his training and trusting in the Lord. When you do that, you take all the pressure off.”

Krafft will compete on the one-meter board on Friday. His second place finish Wednesday night gave Calvin 17 points in the team standings which has Calvin in a tie for 18th place. Scheduled to compete for the Calvin men on Thursday is junior Mark Rushlow (Goshen, IN) in the 100 butterfly prelims where he is seeded eighth. On the women’s side, junior Elizabeth Counsell (Indianapolis, IN) will compete in the 200 freestyle prelims where she is seeded 41st.

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