Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Swim & Dive: Season ends at nationals


April 2, 2014

By Ryan Altman

Two members of the UW-Whitewater women’s swimming and diving team earned All-American honors at the 2014 NCAA Division-III Swimming and Diving Championships.

Hosted by Franklin College in Indianapolis, Ind., the Warhawks qualified and competed in 10 events from March 19 to 22 and finished 24th as a team with 27 points. Emory College won the overall title with 595.50 points.

Junior Amy Spaay, the 2013 Royal Purple Athlete of the Year, added her second and third All-American honors to her swimming résumé with top-10 finishes in the 100-and 200-meter breaststroke. Sophomore diver Sierra Becker earned her second career All-American honor in the one-meter board. Becker is only the second diver in UW-Whitewater history to be recognized as an All-American.

“[Sierra] has done a real nice job,” head coach Joel Rollings said. “She’s got the potential to be one of the top three or four divers next season [in Division-III].”

On March 19, the ’Hawks participated in two preliminary events. The 200 medley relay team, consisting of Spaay, junior Kayla Martin, junior Kelsey Kohlbeck and senior Kendall Thompson, posted a time of 1:48.24, placing them 22nd in prelims. Spaay also competed Wednesday in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing at 25.33.

The following day, Becker finished 16th in the one-meter board for the second-consecutive season. However, her score (365.75) increased by more than five points from 360.65 in 2013.

The same relay team members raced in two more events on Thursday in the 200 free and the 400 medley. The 200 relay finished 29th with a 1:40.35, but the 400 medley squad was disqualified after a false start.

Spaay received her first of two All-American honors on March 21, when she finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke with a 1:02.55. Last season, Spaay was the winner of both the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke races. She also holds the meet record for the 100.

Spaay was still upbeat, despite not taking home a title.

“I’m definitely not disappointed,” Spaay said. “I’m still really happy with how I did.”

Rollings said he has high hopes for getting Spaay back to winning form again next season.

“It’s my job to get her where she wants to go,” Rollings said. “It’s my job to get her to the caliber she needs to win.”

The ’Hawks had three swimmers and one diver in the pool as they wrapped up competition March 22.

Spaay received her second recognition on March 22 in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:20.57) with an eighth-place finish.

Besides competing in the four relay races, Martin and Thompson also raced in individual events. Martin placed 31st in the 1,650-meter free with a time of 17:55.32, and Thompson swam in the 200 meter backstroke, ending up 37th at 2:08.22.

Becker scored a 378.20 on the three-meter board, good enough for 22nd.

The ’Hawks will return all but one of this year’s national qualifiers, Thompson being the lone graduate of the group. Rollings expects next year’s team to be as strong as, or even stronger than, this season’s.

“I think we have great versatility,” Rollings said. “Any of our juniors or seniors can fill in.

“Our whole relay team will be back, and we’ve got some outstanding recruits coming in as well.”

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Founded 1901
Swim & Dive: Season ends at nationals