Spaay wins first swimming and diving championship for UW-Whitewater
SHENANDOAH, Texas -- Wisconsin-Whitewater sophomore Amy Spaay became the first swimming or diving champion, either gender, in school history Friday night with a victory in the 100 breaststroke at the NCAA Division III swimming and diving championship at the Conroe Natatorium.
Spaay is also just the second woman in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history to win an NCAA swimming title. Cheri Tiegs of UW-Oshkosh was the first, winning the 100 and 200 backstroke in 1996. The WIAC has had two diving champions, Sarah Mulatz of UW-Eau Claire on the 1-meter in 1995 and Rachel Heitkamp of Oshkosh in both the 1 and 3-meter in 2004.
Spaay, the top seed, went 1:01.45 to win Friday's preliminaries, with Brittany Geyer of Stevens second in 1:03.13. In the finals Friday night, Spaay touched in a meet record 1:00.85, with Elizabeth Counsell of Calvin her closest pursuer in 1:02.79.
Spaay will swim the 200 breaststroke Saturday, the final day of the national meet. She is also the top seed in the 200. Spaay will also be a member of the UW-W 400 freestyle relay that will compete Saturday.
UW-W diver Sierra Becker earned CSCAA Second Team All-America honors and added to UW-W's team point total with a 16th-place finish in 1-meter diving. Becker qualfied for the consolation finals by finishing 16th in the preliminaries with a total of 392.70 points. Danica Roskos of TCNJ led after the prelims with 453.30 points. Becker accumulated 360.65 points in the consolation finals, and Roskos earned 466.65 to win the event.
Becker is just the second diver, female or male, in school history to earn All-America recognition. Jan Hebert was the first, earning the distinction on the 1 and 3-meter boards in 1983 (second, seventh) and 1984 (seventh, fourth).
Whitewater is in 20th place after three days with 20 points. Emory leads with 396.5 points, followed by Denison with 255 and Johns Hopkins with 169.5. The highest UW-W has ever finished in a national swimming and diving championship came in 1982 when the Warhawks placed 22nd in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division III meet.