Under an extreme amount of pressure, senior diver Danica Roskos was still able to make history, not only at the College’s levels, but also at NCAA Division III levels, becoming the first female diver to win three consecutive national titles in the same event.
“Though she would never admit it, she was under an extraordinary amount of pressure from everyone else to win and she handled the pressure like the true champion she is,” head coach Jennifer Harnett said.
The three-peat was completed for Roskos at Nationals in Shenandoah, Texas after winning with a score of 466.65 in the 1-meter event to set the NCAA record.
“I tried to not think about the end result of the meet,” Roskos said. “It was very important for me to focus on each individual dive.”
Roskos felt very prepared coming into the meet because of diving coach, Candace Gottleib, who also coached junior Sabrina Lucchesi side-by-side with Roskos.
Lucchesi earned All-American honorable mention honors with her 13th-place finish.
“Candace prepared Sabrina and I mentally for this meet,” Roskos said. “She did this by making sure that we were comfortable with each dive we competed and by making sure that our dives were consistent.”
Originally a gymnast for 10 years, Roskos first took up diving after several injuries from gymnastics because it would be less taxing on her body and eventually stuck with it all throughout high school and into college.
However, despite diving under a tremendous amount of pressure, Roskos was able to keep her composure throughout the competition, simply by enjoying her sport.
“During the whole competition on the 1-meter she never seemed nervous,” Harnett said. “She looked like she was enjoying every moment of it.”
Finishing off her career at the College with four national titles, six All-American honors in six events and the NCAA 1-meter event record, Roskos certainly does have a lot to enjoy.
“To win another championship and to also be recognized as the NCAA female diver of the year for the third year in a row, shows what an amazing athlete she is and it was the best way she could finish her career,” Harnett said.
Another outstanding career culminated in Texas with senior swimmer Kayleigh Shangle, who garnered 18 All-American citations at the College.
Shangle, who holds the program record in the 100-yard breastroke and 200-yard breastroke, is a member of four record holding relays at the College and was named 2012-13 NJAC Swimmer of the Year this past winter, finishing 25th overall in the 200-yard breast event with a time of 2:14.14.
“Not many swimmers can say that they went to NCAA’s four years in a row and were All-American each year,” Harnett said. “Her legacy will not only set the bar higher for future swimmers coming through the program, but the great team experience she has helped create with her classmates has brought us to the next level and will be something every class after her will aspire to do as well.”
The men’s swimming and diving team also had spectacular performances in which all 11 athletes at the tournament came home with either All-American or honorable mention All-American honors.
Placing fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay, the team of juniors William Kasper, Philip Hawley and Stephen Gibson, and senior Adam Schneider highlighted the meet for the College with the impressive the race.
Also, senior Michael Caputo had a 15th-place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle event to complete the trip home with every member of the team earning All-American honors.
“Mike did a great job and his qualification for the NCAA Championships was the culmination of hard work and sacrifice throughout a great career,” head coach Brian Bishop said. “Earning honorable mention All-American honors is quite an achievement and is something Mike will remember for a long time.”
The Lions came back to the College making history and setting records, proving that hard work and sacrifice lead to victory.
“I feel extremely lucky to have had such a unique experience,” Roskos said. “It means a lot to me to have been able to end my career on such a high note. It is what most athletes dream of. I am glad to be starting a new chapter in my life, but a little sad to leave this one behind.”