Calvin diver Deur’s modesty matches talent

Thursday, December 13, 2007By Cris Greer

Grand Rapids Press

You never would know talking with Calvin diver Erica Deur that she is a four-time All-American and has won a national diving title, four league titles, two most valuable diver league awards and numerous other honors.

When asked about her first NCAA Division III championship, which she won last year in one-meter diving, she brimmed with modesty.

“At the time, I was kind of surprised,” said Deur, a Holland Christian graduate. “You don’t really expect to go into it winning. It’s in the back of your mind as a possibility.”

“I don’t like to stress getting a certain place.”

Deur said she does not get caught up in titles and instead focuses on improving her scores and increasing her degree of difficulty.

“I personally always think of it more so as improving upon my score rather than my place, because you never know what the competition will be,” said Deur, a junior. “I do want to improve, and if that means winning again, great, but it’s not on my goal sheet to win.”

Last year was all about winning for Deur, who also won the 1- and 3-meter diving titles in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and was the league’s most valuable diver. She was runner-up in the nation on the 3-meter board.

The Knights won their fifth MIAA championship in seven years and took fourth at nationals, Calvin’s highest finish.

“It was really exciting because our team finished fourth,” said Deur, the second diver in MIAA history to win a national title.

Deur said the Knights hope to win another MIAA title and are aiming for another high finish at nationals.

“We have the potential to be in the top six,” said Deur, who is studying community recreation.

As a youngster, Deur was involved in gymnastics but switched to diving in eighth grade.

“I got into gymnastics because my neighbor owned a gym,” she said. It was just a fun thing to do. I had a lot of energy as a kid.”

Deur also threw discus and was a high jumper at Holland Christian but was better noted for her diving and competitive cheerleading.

She went to state every year as a diver, finishing as high as third place in Division 2 her senior season.

This champion, however, takes a break in the offseason.

“I’ve never practiced in the summer,” Deur said. “In high school, there was never a program to do it. I like it just during the season.”

“I run a little during the summer, usually three times a week.”

Last summer, she worked for the city of Holland’s greenhouse crew, planting and watering flowers throughout the area.