Anderson University freshman diver Halle Strege won the 1-meter 11-dive title with a school-record score of 402.95 points during Day 2 of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Championships on Friday in Terre Haute.
In addition to becoming the first athlete in Anderson swimming and diving history to capture an HCAC title, Strege also became the first athlete in Anderson swimming and diving history to hit an NCAA Division III 'B' qualifying standard. Strege will compete in the NCAA Regional Diving Championships on Feb. 28-29 in Granville, Ohio.
"I'm incredibly proud of Halle for becoming the very first Anderson University swimmer or diver to capture an HCAC Championship title," Head Coach Tanner Barton said. "This season marked the first time we sponsored intercollegiate diving here at Anderson. Halle was instrumental in helping to usher in a new wave of AU Swimming & Diving, but now she has officially cemented her place in history. Her drive to succeed and accomplish new dives are second to none. Not only did Halle secure the conference championship, but she achieved her NCAA Regional cut. This is a fantastic accomplishment for Halle and now Anderson University Swimming & Diving will be represented on the national scale. I am incredibly grateful that Halle and our diving coach, Andra Pavich, are continuing to play a vital role as we rewrite program history."
"I am super blessed to be given the opportunity to go to regionals," Strege added. "I honestly had no idea that would be an option to me until a couple weeks ago. Even winning conference, I thought was a stretch. I want to thank everything to my coach, Andra Pavich, and all she has done for me to help me accomplish a goal like winning conference and qualifying for regionals. My original goal was to break 400 points and I also did that at conference. It feels so surreal still. It's all up from here, regionals are two weeks away! I'm also very honored to say that I am the first person in program history to take a winning conference title for Anderson swim and dive. I could not do it without all of the support from my amazing teammates."
After two days of competition, the Ravens remain in third place in the HCAC standings. Franklin College has pulled away from the field in first with a score of 603.5 points. Transylvania University sits in second with a score of 282 points and holds a 34.5-point lead on Anderson. Anderson is currently in third with 247.5 points and is currently ahead of Hanover College (201), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (170) and Manchester University (62), which rounds out the current team standings.
Leibold secured sixth in the 400-individual-medley finals, improving her school record with a time of 5:03.31. The sophomore from Dayton, Ohio took sixth (5:06.13) in the 400-individual-medley prelims.
Tess Maubach claimed eighth in the 100-butterfly finals with a school-record time of 1:02.79. The sophomore from Bloomington, Ill. locked up ninth (1:03.33) in the 100-butterfly prelims.
Jess Pulaski captured fourth (1:12.74) in the 100-breaststroke finals and fourth (1:13.16) in the 100-breaststroke prelims.
Hopp took fifth (2:03.44) in the 200-freestyle finals and sixth (2:03.70) in the 200-freestyle prelims.
Lillia Mitchell secured seventh (1:15.13) in the 100-breaststroke finals and seventh (1:15.77) in the 100-breaststroke prelims.
Davis earned ninth (1:03.28) in the 100-backstroke finals and seventh (1:02.87) in the 100-backstroke prelims.
Brooke Denouden claimed ninth (2:05.31) in the 200-freestyle finals and ninth (2:06.14) in the 200-freestyle prelims.
Mitchell placed 10th (5:17.88) in the 400-individual-medley finals and ninth (5:19.42) in the 400-individual-medley prelims.
Emma Maubach claimed 10th (2:06.80) in the 200-freestyle finals and 12th (2:09.01) in the 200-freestyle prelims.
The Ravens put together a 200-medley relay of Parks, Mitchell, Denouden and Ashley Daulton, which locked up ninth (1:59.96).
Emalea Tragesser secured 11th (1:46.11) in the 100-breaststroke finals and 11th (1:44.55) in the 100-breaststroke prelims.
Tori Haessig raced to 11th (1:06.17) in the 100-butterfly finals and 12th (1:06.83) in the 100-butterfly prelims.
Anderson closes out the HCAC Championships on Saturday at 10 a.m.