Athlete of the Week Archive

Feb. 12, 2007

LARAMIE, Wyo. -


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Emily Keefer


How did you end up coming to the University of Wyoming all the way from Minnesota?
"Wyoming sent me some information in the mail and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. It was also a long way away from home which I liked."

What are some highlights from your four-year career at Wyoming?
"I have just had a lot of fun diving in college. One highlight that stands out would be the conference meet last year because I was diving really well and the team was diving really well. However, the biggest highlight would be having fun with the team."

UW's Diving Coach Ben Herdt and you knew of each other before you joined forces at Wyoming, what is the story behind that?
"Ben went to college at Minnesota which is where I am from. We trained at the same pool with some of the same coaches but I didn't really know him personally. He was a college diver and I was a club diver. I didn't actually meet him until he came out here and became the coach my sophomore year."

You have been a part of a great group of divers that have put Wyoming diving into the spotlight. Did you realize that your class of divers was a special group that would achieve great things or did it just happen?
"With the four of us (John Lynch, Kevin Bretting, Saara Haapanen and I) coming in at the same time I knew that we had a good, deep team. However, we have gotten better and better each year and Ben has really helped us with that. He has gotten us to where we want to be. We all push each other to do better each year and that has made us the strong team that we are today."

What is your thought process from the time you set foot on the diving board until the time you are in the water?
"Depending on the dive, I am thinking don't eat it and really miss because that hurts. Actually, I know what I have to do with each dive and the most important thing is to get it right and end up landing on my head."

What are you future plans?
"I will graduate in the spring of 2008 with a degree in math education. I am going to student teach next spring so I have at least one more year in Laramie."

Who is the biggest clown on the team?
"For the entire swimming and diving team, Erin Spadinger is the biggest clown. She can always put a smile on your face. For the divers it would be Stephanie Ortiz who is a great freshman who always makes me laugh."

Is there a famous diver that you liked growing up?
"I wouldn't necessarily pick a diver because I grew up doing gymnastics. I watched Olympic gymnastics whenever I had the chance and I always looked at the U.S. team and wanted to be just like them."