Story by Alan Babbitt and photo by Lynne Powe
Hope College swimmer Emma Schaefer is returning to the NCAA Division III Championships for the second time in her career.
The junior from DeWitt, Michigan (St. Johns HS) earned her spot for next month's meet after qualifying in the 200-yard individual medley.
The championships will be held Wednesday-Saturday, March 18-21 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the Greensboro Aquatic Center will serve as hosts.
Schaefer also will be able to swim the 200- and 400-yard breaststroke at nationals.
Head coach Jake Taber is thrilled for Schaefer, the 2020 MIAA Women's Swimmer of the Year and three-time individual event champion at last week's conference meet.
Schaefer was league champion in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. She also swam on the Flying Dutch's MIAA champion 400 medley and 800 freestyle relays.
Schaefer finished with the nation's 20th fastest time in the 200 individual medley: 2 minutes, 5.29 seconds.
"It's been a little nerve-racking trying to speculate and crunch some numbers," Taber said of projecting the NCAA Championship qualifiers. "We're really looking forward to her having the opportunity and attacking each of her swims."
Schaefer competed at nationals as a freshman with the Flying Dutch's 400 medley relay.