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Rutgers sophomore peaks at right time

<p>Nicole Honey was named Big East Athlete of the Week, as she continues to be the Knights’ most reliable diver off the boards.</p>

Nicole Honey was named Big East Athlete of the Week, as she continues to be the Knights’ most reliable diver off the boards.

Sophomore Nicole Honey enters the Big East Championships with momentum for the Rutgers swimming and diving team.

She has put together a consistent regular season for the Scarlet Knights’ diving squad and is primed to finish at her peak.

Honey collected Big East Athlete of the Week honors after her performance Feb. 8 at home against Georgetown, Villanova and Seton Hall.

“Her training over the course of the season is starting to show up to her capability,” said head coach Phil Spiniello. “I think it’s perfect timing as we head to the Big East Championship meet next week.”

She won both the 1- and 3-meter dive events, with a score of 317.00 in six 3-meter dives.

Her performance against the three Big East schools provides confidence — especially with the conference championships less than a week away.

“I think I’m finally getting my dives down more consistently, and I think it’s leading me to a good place,” Honey said.

While Honey made a statement in the last home meet, she has been competing at a constant level throughout the season.

Consistency is a major focal point for Honey, and it shows in her play. The New Hyde Park, N.Y., native has finished in the top three of every meet she has competed in.

Spiniello said having prior experience at the Big East Championships will give Honey an advantage in the postseason.

She managed an impressive season in her rookie year, placing third in the 1- and 3-meter events at last year’s Big East quad meet. Then she qualified for the Big East Championships and finished eighth in the 3-meter dive.

But she began this season competing at a different level.

Honey eclipsed her career-best mark in the 1-meter dive in the team’s first dual-meet Oct. 26 against Wagner. She also won the 3-meter dive in the same meet.

When the Knights lost to James Madison on Jan. 19, Honey finished second in both events.

The meet marked her fourth consecutive second-place finish in the 3-meter dive, as Honey became a reliable scorer down the stretch.

Her mentality and consistency in competition on the boards is reflective of what the rest of the team has been able to accomplish for much of this season.

“All the divers did really well,” she said. “We were always in the top three of our meets, and it was always good to be supporting our swimming team.”

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