At the NCAA III national championships, Calvin diver Andy Krafft took third place in the men’s three-meter diving competition.
Not bad for a freshman who hasn’t trained or dived competitively in more than four years.
During middle school, Andy trained with the best as part of the top U.S. Elite Junior Olympic diving team. A homeschool graduate from Fort Wayne, Ind., he stayed off the boards except for some recreation-league diving during the summer, and decided on a Christian college close to home.
“We looked around Ohio State University,” said his dad, Scott Krafft, “and I told him to think about training at this level, or I asked him if he would rather pursue a Christian (college) education.”
“When I decided I wanted to go to a smaller Christian school, I thought it was the end of the road,” said Andy. “There aren’t many Christian colleges that have diving, so I figured that was it.”
But his dad had heard about Calvin. “I knew something about Calvin’s academic atmosphere and I really liked that,” he said. “I also had heard about the wonderful new natatorium (the Venema Aquatic Center), and I kept thinking that if Andy could have the opportunity to dive at the Division III level at a school with good academics, he should at least think about it.”
Back on the board
Andy and his parents visited Calvin, and a few months later he was back in the pool. “I walked into the pool and just seeing the facility and talking to (diving coach) Aaron (Paskvan) and smelling the chlorine got me excited to dive again,” he said.
“In talking to Andy about his background, I knew he was going to be pretty decent,” said Coach Paskvan. “I didn’t think he would get it back so fast, though. He has some very special talent.”
More than toppling records
Just a month into the competitive season, Andy had broken the school record on the one-meter board, and later broke a 25-year-old mark on the three-meter. His third place finish at nationals was icing on the cake.
For Andy, his college experience goes beyond records and diving: “I’m really glad I came here. Calvin is unique in a lot of ways, and it fits my personality. I feel like Calvin gives me more opportunities to develop my faith and grow closer to Christ, and my faith is very important to me.
“I love diving, but I didn’t want it to be my life. That’s why I love Division III; it’s a good balance.”