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Friday, December 3, 2021

Hawkins looks to cement herself in school history

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Article Originally Published by Paul Witwer on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Paul Witwer on North Texas Daily

Junior diver Saylor Hawkins won her third Conference USA player of the week award for her performance against New Mexico State University on Nov. 6 in Denton. Saylor got first place on both the 1-meter dive, with a score of 279.53 points, and the 3-meter dive with a personal record of 301.58 points.

Hawkins became the first diver in North Texas history to win the award three times in a season. However, Hawkins said she was unaware that the award existed before the season began but appreciated receiving the awards.

“I didn’t really know that they did that before this year, so it’s cool,” Hawkins said.

At Beck High School in Plymouth, Minn., Hawkins was a two-time state champion, breaking and still maintaining multiple state records for diving. After graduating, she decided to attend North Texas because during her official visit, Hawkins said she liked the atmosphere around the team and coaching staff.

Hawkins has also mentioned her appreciation for the new diving coach, Stephanie O’Callaghan. Hawkins said the new diving coach, O’Callaghan has been a factor in the improvement that Hawkins and the rest of the team have shown during this season.

“Things have started really well, and I think that we get along with her,” Hawkins said. “We’ve improved a lot with everything that we’ve done. All of us have PR’d [earned personal records].”

In Hawkins’ sophomore year in the C-USA Swimming and Diving Championships, she managed to place second in the 1-meter dive, scoring 254.35 and eighth in the 3-meter, scoring 254.3. So far this year, she has surpassed these scores each time she has won C-USA Player of the Week. In addition, every week that Hawkins has won the award, she has also set a personal career-high each time she has been named as the player of the week.

Hawkins’ record on the three-meter was less than 3 points away from the North Texas school record. Hawkins said it was her goal when she came to North Texas as a freshman to obtain at least one of the school records.

“I didn’t even know [about the record] until after the meet was over because it takes them a while to add up scores and stuff, but it’s pretty exciting,” Hawkins said.

The current 3-meter school record is a score of 304.45 and the one-meter record is a score of 304.85, which have both stood for almost a decade. Hawkins currently holds the second-best tower score of 208 points which she got on Feb. 22, 2021.

“Ever since I looked at [the school records] my freshman year, I always knew what the scores were,” Hawkins said. “I thought I would have broken the record on the 1-meter versus the 3-meter or tower.”

Over the past two meets, Hawkins placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives but is scoring better in the 3-meter, which Hawkins said is surprising because she prefers the 1-meter over the 3-meter and tower dives.

Hawkins also received praise from her teammates, as junior diver Makaia Goemans describes her energy as infectious.

“She’s a good motivator [and] really encouraging,” Goemans said. “[…] She always wants to do her best and have fun.”

Junior diver Olivia Dollar echoed the same sentiments about Hawkins’ demeanor and attitude as a teammate, but also mentioned Hawkins’ work ethic,

“Saylor plays a very big part in the team,” Dollar said. “She always has a really positive attitude [and] cheers everybody on. She’s a great example of someone who works really hard.”

Image source Mean Green Sports

Source: North Texas Daily

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