Meisenhelder makes a splash for Eagles

Junior diver Sara Meisenhelder

Jack Magruder

Junior diver Sara Meisenhelder has been a key component to the Georgia Southern University swimming and diving team this season.

She has been diving competitively now for 12 years, including one year in high school.

“I’ve always been a diver, there just haven’t been any other events for me,” Meisenhelder said.

Meisenhelder was named Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Diver of the Year for the 2012 season.

Meisenhelder has dominated the board this year, and although she is a little bit anxious regarding the upcoming meet, she hopes to continue doing well in the CCSA Championships this weekend.

During her excellent performance this season, Meisenhelder was named CCSA Diver of the Week, for the first time this season and the third time in her collegiate swimming career.

She also qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships, after a pool and school record-breaking one-meter dive in competition during the regular season. In that swim meet, her one-meter dive scored 281.70 and her three-meter dive scored 258.00, giving her a first-place finish in both events. This is the second time that Meisenhelder has qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships, the first time being last season, making her the first diver in Georgia Southern University’s history to do so.

Meisenhelder hopes to be named Diver of the Year for this year.

“She’s doing really well this year, having already got her NCAA Zone cut; last year she didn’t get it until at the conference championship meet. Going in now, the pressure is a little bit off. She is definitely a big-meet diver, and tends to embrace those pressure packed moments and her competitiveness really comes out. In practice and dual meets she’s pretty laid back and low key and when it’s time to step up, she does,” head coach Nathan Kellogg said.

The Eagles have formed a sort of home away from home feeling for Meisenhelder that allows her to have a family feeling when her family cannot always be close by.

“My team means the world to me. I work hard everyday for not only myself but for them as well. I am from Indiana and my family is all there as well, but when I am here my team becomes my family, and we all do everything for each other no matter what. My coaches also are wonderful support system. They work hard at what they do in order to help me succeed as an athlete,” Meisenhelder said.

Meisenhelder and the Eagles are back in action this weekend, competing the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships.