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Championships loom for Hawkeye divers

BY IAN MURPHY | FEBRUARY 11, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Hawkeye divers had a remarkable regular season rewriting the record books, and individuals set numerous personal-best scores.

Already this season, junior Addison Boschult notched his best score on the 3-meter board and set a school record on the tower with a 394.35. Sophomore Brandis Heffner has set career marks on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, and freshman Matt Mauser is slightly fewer than 6 points away from qualifying for NCAA zones.

With such a successful regular season having wound down, the divers will turn their attention to twisting, turning, and flipping to the best of their ability at the Big Ten championships and NCAA zone diving qualifiers.

And at those meets, the No. 1 goal for Heffner, simply put, is to make finals, score for the team, and hit the best score of his career.

“I just want to dive as well as I have been diving all season,” he said. “The postseason is where you’re supposed to show yourself off and show off how hard you’ve been working.”

In concrete terms, he wants to final on both boards at the Big Tens and the NCAA zones.

Heffner is not alone in lofty goals for the championship season. Mauser, too, has his sights set high. He also wants to get his best scores, but he wants to go beyond that and help the team.

“One of my main focuses is getting top 16 and scoring points for the team,” he said. “That would be ideal.”

Scoring points would go a long way for the Hawkeyes to help their overall finish at the championships. Last season, no one made the finals on the 1-meter or 3-meter and only Boschult went to the finals on the platforms.

While the divers have their expectations, diving coach Todd Waikel’s goals for his young team might be the most towering.

“As a coach, my expectations are always high,” he said. “You don’t ever want to lose.”

The Hawkeye divers have a chance to meet those expectations after some serious improvement over a season ago.

Boschult’s 394.35 platform score at the Hawkeye Invitational would have been the No. 2 spot in the A final at the 2014 Big Ten meet, and Heffner’s score of 325.88 on the 1-meter board would have secured the eighth and final spot in the A final.

Boschult, who took 12th on the platforms at the USA Diving senior championships, would also have made the A final on the 3-meter board as well.

“I think at the end of the day, if you’re putting in the work, and you’re putting in the time and effort, and you’re keeping your standards high, it’s going to pay off,” Waikel said. “The program is moving in the right direction for as young as a team as we have.”

The Hawkeyes have legitimate scoring threats in the diving well, something that bodes well for both the diving program and team as a whole and something that might not have been true just a few years ago.

While the regular season was strong, Waikel wants to end the year on a high note.

“It’s not going to stop here.” he said. “We’re not going to stop improving until we’re on top.”

Follow @IanfromIowa on Twitter for updates, news, and analysis about the Iowa men’s swimming and diving team.


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