It was during a winter swimming and diving practice at the University of Notre Dame when Bloomfield Township native Emma Gaboury and teammate Lindsey Streepey, of Texas, decided to give a synchronized dive a try.
Though not an event in a National Collegiate Athletic Association competition, it is recognized by USA Diving, which governs national championships and Olympic trials.
“It kind of just worked out. We were goofing around in practice one day and decided to try it together. It looked good, so we continued with it,” Gaboury said. “Certain divers have different styles of diving. Some are very powerful; some are more artistic. I would say we’re more on the artistic side, so we matched up well.”
From that first dive during a few free moments at practice, they have become one of the best tandems in the nation.
Gaboury and Streepey, both heading into their sophomore seasons at Notre Dame, qualified for the USA Diving National Championships Aug. 13-18 in Iowa City, Iowa, in the 3-meter synchronized springboard event.
The team qualified by finishing second in the Preliminary Zone B Championships July 19-21 at Florida State University.
“We were really excited (to qualify),” Gaboury said, noting that the top three teams in the prelim advanced. “It’s nerve-wracking when you know you are on the edge of qualifying. We had a great final dive and stepped up. When we saw that we made it, we started screaming and jumping up and down.”
Gaboury and Streepey are the first Notre Dame divers to qualify for the national championships in the synchronized event.
“That’s really exciting, and a great opportunity to represent Notre Dame and make our own Irish history,” Gaboury said. “It’s kind of setting the precedent for the program in the future. I want to do well when I’m here at Notre Dame, but I also want to see the program grow.”
The duo has plans of improving, as well, and seeing what this even leads to.
“We joke about it, even saying, ‘Rio 2016;’ maybe it’s in the future,” Gaboury said. “I think it’d be awesome if we could make to the (Olympic) trials. That might be the end goal. But for right now, it’s a lot of fun. You never know what can happen in the future.”