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Posted on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Eastern Michigan diver strives to make Canadian national team and more notes

By Matt Durr

Eastern Michigan University diver Andrew Saunders always knew how important it would be to represent his country in the Olympics. But until recently, he never thought he would have the chance.

“I didn’t really think about it that much. As time went on, it became possible,” Saunders said. “I’m just happy it went down this way.”

In December of last year, Saunders qualified for the Canadian Olympic Trials May 25-27 in Montreal. The 20-year-old finance major from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, will compete to be one of two divers selected for the three-meter boards team that will travel to London.

“It’s definitely going to be competitive.” said Saunders, who has competed in the Canada Games before. “But I’ll be happy either way.”

To prepare, Saunders has been working with his coaches at EMU to insert some tougher dives into his routine and improve the degree of difficulty of his dives.

“You don’t want to go in there with an easy list. They won’t even look at you,” Saunders said.

The junior came to EMU after competing at a competition in Florida. While there passing out his highlight tape, his name was passed along to head coach Peter Linn. After making a visit to Ypsilanti, Saunders decided EMU was the place for him.

“I really liked the team,” Saunders said.

Even though he doesn’t get to share his accomplishments with his friends and family back home, Saunders keeps in touch as best he can while enjoying college life.

“I like being away from home for a bit. I get to live in two different worlds,” he said. “Everyone (back home) supports me.”

Saunders said he hopes for the best at the trials, but is also looking forward to competing with his teammates at EMU as the end of the season comes to an end.

“The MAC championships are always a big deal for us,” he said.

Three Wolverines win weekly awards

Senior Amanda Lohman, junior Miguel Ortiz and freshmen Emina Bektas each collected Big Ten Athlete of the Week awards in their respective sports this week.

Lohman was named women's Diver of the Week for the third time this month and sixth time in her career at Michigan. Lohman won both diving competitions in a meet last week against Michigan State and set career highs on the one-meter and three-meter boards.

Ortiz was named men’s Swimmer of the Week after winning the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke at the Ohio State Tri-Meet against OSU and Penn State. This is the second time this season that Ortiz has won the award.

After going unbeaten last weekend, Bektas was named women’s tennis Athlete of the Week for the third time this season. Ranked No. 36 in ITA poll, Bektas won two matches as the No.1 single and No.1 doubles to earn the weekly honors. She is 14-4 and holds a five-match win streak in singles play.

Upcoming home schedule:


U-M women’s basketball - 6:30 p.m. vs. Northwestern at Crisler Center


U-M women’s gymnastics - 6 p.m. vs. West Virginia at Crisler Center

EMU gymnastics - 7 p.m. vs. Illinois State, Central Michigan and Illinois-Chicago at Bowen Field House

U-M hockey - 7:35 p.m. vs. Miami (OH) at Yost Ice Arena


U-M men’s swimming - noon vs. Michigan State at Canham Natatorium

EMU men’s swimming - 1 p.m. vs. Miami (OH) at Jones Natatorium

EMU women’s basketball - 2 p.m. vs. Miami (OH) at Convocation Center

U-M men’s tennis - 6 p.m. vs. LSU at Varsity Tennis Center

U-M hockey - 7:35 p.m. vs. Miami (OH) at Yost Ice Arena


U-M women’s basketball - 3 p.m. vs. Michigan State at Crisler Center


EMU men’s basketball - 7 p.m. vs. Kent State at Convocation Center

EMU wrestling - 7 p.m. vs. Buffalo at Bowen Field House