In Michigan diving head coach Mike Hilde’s three years with the program, the team has sent seven individuals to the NCAA Championships. This compares to the nine total sent in the previous 20 years, from 1995-2014.
Hilde continued to break ground as three Michigan divers qualified for the NCAA Championships this past weekend: Allie Murphy and Keegan McCaffrey and freshman Kristen Hayden.
Murphy didn't hold her feelings back about joining the rest of the team at the national meet.
“I’m really excited to join the rest of team team and feel the energy,” Murphy said. “They’ve been cheering us on this whole season. I also want to go out on a good note, for my senior year, and hopefully contribute to the team’s score.”
Murphy, Hayden and McCaffrey will each be competing in the three-meter dive. Murphy and Hayden will also be competing in the platform dive. In addition, Hayden will be diving the one-meter. Of the three divers, only Murphy will be making her second appearance at the Championship meet.
Hilde expressed his pride in his athletes for their hard work and attitudes going into next week’s Championship meet.
“It’s been a great transition since I’ve been here,” Hilde said. “These athletes work their butts off, they train hard, they’re focused and determined so we’ve seen a lot of improvement in them. I want my divers to get out there and perform how they know how to perform.”
The growing men’s diving program also made a good showing this weekend. Last year, sophomore Collin DeShaw was the lone member of the Wolverine’s men’s diving team. That number has tripled this year as the program continues to grow.
“They’re getting better,” Hilde said. “We’ve got our goals set, and their attitudes are there. The work is there and we just have to put it together. We’ve got a long way to go, but they're determined to be a powerhouse like the women’s team.”
The last time Michigan sent two or more divers to the NCAA Championships in consecutive years was in 1993 and 1994. The women’s swim program now has a total of 13 athletes headed to the national meet next week.
“The team has grown a lot in the last few years,” Murphy said. “We’re really supportive of one another and feed off each other’s energy. I think we are on a constant uprise and it’s great to be a part of it.”