Senior Michelle Hall placed third on the three-meter board. (Kristina Sumfleth/The Villanovan)
by Brett Klein
The 2014 Big East Championships for diving took place last Saturday, after being rescheduled due to the snow storms that hit the northeast earlier in the week. A limited number of divers competed and therefore both preliminary and final scores were factored into each diver’s total score.
Senior diver Michelle Hall was the only Villanovan to compete and placed third on the women’s three-meter board in what was the last meet of her Villanova career.
After the preliminaries in the event, Hall sat in fourth place with a score of 200.25, but was able to move up to third after finishing with a total score of 404.95 following the final round.
Earlier in the day, Hall took part in the one-meter board in which she placed sixth with a score of 374.30. Seton Hall diver Gabby Signorelli won both events with scores of 516.15 and 497.05 in the one-meter and three-meter boards, respectively.
Ben Mitchell, also from Seton Hall, was victorious in both events in the men’s field. As the only Villanovan competing, Hall went into the Big East Championships looking to end her college career on a high note.
“Competing against all the other divers was truly an honor seeing where I started from four years ago,” Hall said. “I was definitely nervous going in but I think the realization that this would be my last meet ever made the meet a more enjoyable and emotional experience for me.”
Hall is a native of North Andover, Mass.and began her diving career when she was a freshman at Villanova and contacted diving coach Gary Elder to talk av could join the team.
“I had done gymnastics for about 13 years before coming to college,” Hall said. “So Gary thought I might have some potential and taught me how to dive.”
Hall was understandably excited to compete in the Big East Championships after becoming a diver just four years earlier.
“I was looking for something to occupy myself,” Hall said. “But nothing at the activities fair really caught my eye.”
Despite her eagerness to compete, however, Hall was cautious not to have too high expectations.
“Gary had been telling me all week that he thought I could get third on three-meter,” Hall said. “But to be honest I didn’t believe him.”
Hall wasn’t disappointed with her sixth place finish on the one-meter board and immediately shifted her focus to the three-meter board after her first event.
“I knew that three-meter was going to be my better event,” Hall said. “And I was glad I could finish with it.”
Although she may have doubted her coach’s expectations of a third-place finish in the three-meter, Hall didn’t shy away from the competition and exceeded her goals.
“Placing third was the best way I could have imagined the meet ending,” Hall said. “And I am very happy with how I closed out my career.”
The swimmers will compete next in the Big East Championships on Feb. 19-22 in Sewell, N.J.