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Andy Krafft Is National Runner-Up On One-Meter Board at NCAA III Swimming & Diving Championships

Thursday, March 24, 2011

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KNOXVILLE, TN - Andy Krafft continued his amazing freshman campaign for the Calvin College men’s swimming and diving team, posting a national runner-up berth on the one-meter diving board at the NCAA III Championships Thursday night. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Krafft (Home Schooled) took second at the national meet with a score of 459.0 points. Krafft finished behind Nick Halbach of the United States Merchant Marine Academy who took first with a score of 497.80 ponts. Krafft is just the second male diver in Calvin history to claim All-America honors, joining Dirk Pruis who did so on multiple occassions in the early 1980’s. Krafft’s national finish matches the highest by a Calvin male diver and was the best finish by an MIAA men’s diver at the NCAA meet since Kalamazoo’s Anthony Holt won the 1-meter and 3-meter titles in 2003. Krafft’s finish also gave Calvin 17 points in the team standings, placing the Knights in 22nd place with two days of competition left. Calvin’s Bill VanEe also took second on both the one and three-meter boards at the 1985 national meet.

Krafft used a steady rise through the standings beginning in the afternoon prelims as he sat in ninth place after his first five dives but then got on a roll, hitting big scores on his 3 1/2 twister dive as well as his reverse 2 1/2 and back 2 1/2 that allowed him to move up to fifth place and earn a spot in the evening finals with a prelim score of 409.60. In the evening finals, Krafft took his performance to yet another level, hitting key dives that allowed him to move into second place.

“I thought Andy was very calm tonight and put a big charge into moving up in the standings,” said Calvin diving coach Aaron Paskvan who has now led Calvin divers to 11 All-America berths in his six years as coach. “He had a little too much ground to make up on the leader but I couldn’t be happier or more proud of him.”

According to Paskvan, Krafft just missed contending for the national title. “Andy was off just a touch on a couple of dives in the prelims that carried over into the finals,” said Paskvan. “He corrected those mistakes and is starting to understand how to perform on the board when it matters most. If he can get off to a little quicker start on the three-meter board, he could be in the running again for one of the top spots.”

Krafft is scheduled to compete in the men’s three-meter diving competition on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Calvin had two individuals compete on the women’s side as sophomore Elizabeth Counsell (Indianapolis, IN/Heritage Christian HS) took 44th in the 200 IM prelims (2:15.56) while freshman Elise Kaufman (Sugarland, TX/Clements HS) was 21st on the three-meter board (334.65).

Counsell is scheduled to compete in the 100 breaststroke prelims on Friday while Kaufman will compete on the one-meter diving board.

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