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Deur Named National Diver of the Year - Paskvan Named Women’s Diving Coach of the Year

Sunday, March 22, 2009

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – For the second time in three years, Calvin College senior Erica Deur has been named the Division III Women’s Diver of the Year by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.  The award was announced late Saturday night at the conclusion of the NCAA III Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota. In addition, Calvin diving coach Aaron Paskvan has been named Division III Women’s Diving Coach of the Year. It also marks the second time in three years that he has received the honor.

A native of Holland and a graduate of Holland Christian High School, Deur captured the national title on the one-meter board Friday night with an NCAA III Championships point total of 496.05 points.  It marked the second national title for Deur as she also won the one-meter title in 2007. On Wednesday, Deur was the national runner-up on the three-meter board with a total of 495.85 points.

Her efforts helped the Calvin women’s swimming and diving team finish seventh in the final team standings with 171 points for its fifth consecutive Top-10 national finish.

“This weekend was a lot of fun. We had great team energy,” said Deur late Saturday night.  “I was fortunate to hit some dives when I needed to.  I owe a lot to my diving coach Aaron Paskvan who has supported me all the way through my career and helped me to improve. It was also a blessing to be able to compete with two of my diving teammates. This was definitely the best way to conclude my college career. I could not ask for anything more.”

Deur concluded her collegiate career as an eight-time NCAA III All-American, earning the award four times on the one-meter board and four times on the three-meter board.  Of the eight All-America berths, three were national runner-up finishes and two were national titles.

Deur was one of three divers from Calvin to compete at the national meet as junior Casey Herman a (Libertyville, IL) and senior Jeena Velzen (Jenison/Unity Christian HS) also competed.  Herman joined Deur as an NCAA III All-American on the one-meter board Friday night, finishing eighth with a score of 387.70 points.

“This was an historic weekend for our divers,” said Paskvan. “To have three of our divers compete this weekend as amazing and I could not be prouder of them.  It was a great accomplishment for Jeena to make it here as a a senior and I was thrilled to see Casey become an All-American. As for Erica, what can you say other than she has been just a joy to coach. Her hard work and dedication paid off this weekend. She has tremendous God-given ability and a work ethic to match. When the chips were down, she always stepped up.”

The national coach of the year award is also meaningful according to Paskvan. “This award is a tremendous honor,”  said Paskvan. “What makes it special is that it was voted on by my coaching peers who I respect so much.”

Calvin head swim coach Dan Gelderloos stated that the coach of the year award for Paskvan is well deserved. “There is no question that Aaron is one of the top diving coaches in the country and we are so blessed to have him at Calvin College,” said Gelderloos. “He is extremely deserving of this award and I am thrilled for him. I am also thrilled for Erica to receive her award. She is also very deserving and we are all so proud of her.”

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