UH divers soar at Georgia Tech Invitational

Rainbow Wahine senior Lauren Hall finished third in 1-meter diving at the Georgia Tech Invitational last weekend in Atlanta, Ga. Photo courtesy University of Hawaii.
Rainbow Wahine senior Lauren Hall finished third in 1-meter diving at the Georgia Tech Invitational last weekend in Atlanta, Ga. Photo courtesy University of Hawaii.

Rainbow Wahine senior Lauren Hall closed the fall season by adding to her list of diving accolades at the Georgia Tech Invitational last weekend .

After setting a personal best in 1-meter diving in a dual meet with Air Force on Oct. 30, Hall returned home to Atlanta and qualified for the finals in all three events in one of the biggest meets the Rainbow Wahine will compete in this season with 58 divers entered.

Hall placed third in the 1 meter, seventh in the 3 meter and 13th on platform. UH senior Aimee Harrison placed 10th in 1 meter, ninth in 3 meter and 15th on platform.

In the men’s competition, Amund Gismervik added to his medal collection with a second-place finish in the 3 meter and third-place showings in 1 meter and platform. Freshman Johan Sandell finished eighth on platform.

On the other side of the country, the UH swimming teams closed the fall in the A3 Performance Invitational in Los Angeles. The Rainbow Wahine placed eighth out of 14 teams while the men came in fifth out of eight.

UH sophomore Franziska Weidner won the women’s 200-yard freestyle and took silver in 200-yard individual medley. Senior Erin McNulty won silver in 100 yard fly and sophomore Kira Webster took bronze in 500 free.

Among the highlights for the men’s team was junior Yuri Samouilich’s second-place finish in the 200 free and a third in the 100 free. Samouilich also swam with Bennett Yuan, Micah Ornellas and Alex Chan on the 200 medley relay team that placed third.

The fall season complete, Hall will continue to prepare for the USA Diving Winter National Championships set for December 15-20 in Indianapolis.

Along with putting together performances worthy of acclaim, Hall devoted part of her junior year to pulling together an event to honor achievements throughout the UH athletic department.

When Gismervik placed third in platform diving at the NCAA championships in 2014, earning All-America honors, the achievement didn’t create much of a ripple around the community. So Hall began brainstorming ways to help recognize Gismervik as well as celebrate accomplishments in other programs.

“So I started thinking, ‘what if we did an award show?’ Just so everyone’s feeling honored,” Hall said. “It would bring the community together, not only would it honor the people it would notify everyone on who’s doing what.

“The press can get so caught up on the negative things, but there’s so much positive going on around here that isn’t in the spotlight. That’s what I wanted to do and stared talking to some people and it just took off from there,”

Hall, an international business major, took a proposal to athletic department officials and began the footwork of dressing up the department’s “H Awards” banquet into a Hollywood-style “green carpet” event.

The formal planning started in February for an event scheduled for April 28 at the Stan Sheriff Center, “so it was kind of a time crunch,” Hall said “but we pulled it off.”

She said there were some initial complaints about the formal dress code, “but we don’t have anything like that here and I think once everyone got there I think everyone felt important and special and that’s what I wanted. I wanted everyone just to feel what they’re doing every day, sacrificing all this time, killing their bodies, it’s all worth it.”

Hall said the finished product came together as she envisioned, and with a foundation in place she said plans have already started for next spring’s event.

“I’m excited for this year because I think it can be a lot better,” she said.