by Alan Babbitt
Hope College diver Brian Simonich spent the week focusing on his mindset and what he could control when on the board.
The approach paid off handsomely on Friday.
The senior from Highland, Michigan (Milford HS) posted a third-place score in 3-meter diving at the NCAA Division III regional hosted by Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He finished with 462.40 points.
The two-day meet that determines who advances to this month's NCAA Division III Championships wraps up on Saturday, March 2 with 1-meter competition.
Diving coach Rebecca Garza said Simonich, pictured, has trained so hard during his Hope career and is now reaping the rewards of that hard work.
"As a senior, we wanted to make sure he left the pool this weekend feeling like he gave it all he had and glorified God through this sport that has been a large part of his life for so long," Garza said. "I am so proud of him for finishing third."
Hope had two divers place in the top eight in the 19-diver event.
Sophomore Grant Williams of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids) came in eighth with 439.45 points.
Heath Ogawa of Lake Forest College (Illinois) won with 536.60 points. Dylan Glumac-Berberich of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was runner-up with 504.40 points.
Simonich's preparations for the regional helped him on Friday, Garza said.
"Brian's goal this season has been consistency with his dives. It drove his training and was the focus for this meet," Garza said. "Tonight's competition was all about consistency. He had a clear mind and stayed consistent with takeoffs and entries. He focused on what he's been doing in training, and his results tonight showed that."