This past Friday and Saturday, freshman Trevor Burke from Emory’s men’s diving team competed at the NCAA Division III Region 2 Diving Championships held at Grinnell College (Iowa). Burke was selected as one of five divers to compete from the South, Midwest and West regions.
The top finisher from the first and second days of competition received an automatic invitation to the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in March. Burke narrowly missed, finishing second Friday and third Saturday.
“I felt very fortunate to have been invited to [the Region 2 Diving Championships],” Burke said. “I was going against the best Division III divers in the country. This is my first year so I can’t set my expectations too high. I’ve made some mistakes but all I can do is take them and put them into being better for next year.”
Friday afternoon featured the 11-dive one-meter event with Burke earning a personal best score of 468.15. Burke was edged out of first place during the final round by Claremont Colleges (Calif.) diver Kendall Hollimon. Earning the top spot by a margin of 10.35, Hollimon will automatically compete at the NCAA championships in March.
Burke reflected upon his feelings going into the last rounds of the event.
“I was super nervous,” Burke said. “I had a lot on the line, especially facing such intense competition. But all there was for me to do was come out and perform and leave it all out there.”
Burke ended Saturday by taking third in the 11-dive three-meter event with a final score of 445.35 points. Second place went to freshman Chaz Brouillette from Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.), whom Burke beat out earlier in the season at the Sewanee University Invitational (Tenn.) in October . Hollimon went home with first for the second day in a row.
Burke is coming off of a successful freshman season, breaking a school record and being named UAA Athlete of the Week.
“Now I know just exactly what it takes to make it [to nationals],” Burke said. “Second place was not the best way to end the season but, nonetheless, I had an incredible year.I’m taking the support I have and the mistakes I’ve made to work hard and fix what I need to for next year. I plan on training hard during the summer and hopefully coming back a much better diver.”