Hope College's Charlie Emmert is planning to enjoy every moment of his final Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Swimming & Diving Championship this week.
The senior from Grand Blanc, Michigan (Flint Powers Catholic HS) and the Flying Dutchmen are competing at the four-day event hosted by Calvin College. The meet begins on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
"I'm going into the meet thinking of this meet more as a victory lap more than I'm concerned about my best times. I'm going in thinking about having fun," Emmert said. "I know I put in all the hard work over the past five months. I've got alums rooting for me. It's a pretty good feeling."
Emmert is seeded in the top five in two individual events.
He is second in the 200 butterfly with a season-best swim of 1 minute, 55.30 seconds.
He is fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with a season-best swim of 4:46.31.
There is live video scheduled throughout the meet.
Emmert said he is focused on swimming his race in both events, which offer unique challenges.
"The major thing is knowing your own race style," Emmert said. "A lot of guys take it out faster, but don't have a lot left. For me, the first half (of the 500 freestyle) is being patient and knowing I'm going to come back stronger at the end of the race.
"It's the same thing for the butterfly. Some will go out fast, then kind of die off. You've got to work your underwaters (in the butterfly) to make up some time. Trying to stay calm as soon as you start is important. Good things don't really happen when you panic."
Emmert is one of four from Hope seeded in the top five in individual events.
Senior Mike Wurster of Indianapolis, Indiana (Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) is first in the 200 backstroke with a top swim of 1:53.66.
Sophomore Daniel Clyde of Ann Arbor, Michigan (Huron) is fourth in the 200 individual medley with his top time of 1:56.61.
Junior Brian Simonich of Highland, Michigan (Milford) is seeded second in 1-meter diving with a top score of 296.55 points and fourth in 3-meter diving with a top score of 273.30 points.
Senior Kevin Franz of Mundelein, Illinois (Mundelein) is fifth in 3-meter diving with a top score of 261.90 points.
Emmert is looking forward to his final MIAA Championship. He has enjoyed camaraderie and competition while swimming for the Flying Dutchmen.
"You get to know the guys you're swimming against. It's always a friendly competition, bringing out the best in everyone," Emmert said. "I cannot wait to get started. After four years, you know the deal."