MINNEAPOLIS-Willmar's Erica Schramm just wanted to nail her last three dives of her high school career. Sitting in seventh place heading into Friday's Class A State Swimming and Diving Championships, she wanted to have fun on the big stage.
She hit all three dives to near perfection, raising her score to 364.70 to capture third place at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota.
"It's been an emotional, rollercoaster of a day," Schramm said following the meet. "I didn't really have a place in mind, I just wanted to nail my dives. After Wednesday, I just wanted to hit my dives. I compete better with a big crowd so I wanted to have fun."
Schramm scored 113.8 in her Friday dives for an average of 37.9 per dive, the largest jump of the day among all divers.
Ellie Gunderson, of Fridley/Totino-Grace won the meet with a score of 381.65 and Becker's Emi Quill followed up with a 378.90. Breck's Saylor Hawkins, last year's champion, finished with a score of 364.10 after hitting the board with her second dive, recording a score of 20.
Hawkins' miscue opened the door for Schramm, who took second place behind Hawkins last year, and the senior Cardinal diver took full advantage of it.
"Those three dives are the best I've seen from her," said Willmar head coach Carl Shuldes. "You could see at the end, she was tearing up. This meant a lot for her. It's the culmination of six years of diving, and she's so humble. What a joy to coach and watch. She's a solid, all-around kid."
This season had the makings of a difficult season for Schramm. She was returning from injury and a period of transition with the coaching staff left the Cardinals without a diving coach but the senior didn't let that stop her. Instead, she took on more of a coaching role, helping her teammates.
"It was good because it helped me focus on some of the basics. It helped motivate myself and push myself" Schramm said. "It was a big injury, too, so I'm just happy it was my junior year and I was able to come back for this year. There was a lot of lost time and I just want to make the most of this year.
"It means so much to me to be able to dive on the biggest stage as a Cardinal."