Norfolk, Va. - Dominance: a noun described as power, control, command -- and now we can add the word Eckert, as in Rachel Eckert.
The ODU senior has been nothing short of being dominant this year. She has been named Conference USA Diver of the Week four times, and last week, she took home the one and three meter titles in the conference championships.
In doing so, Rachel was named the Conference USA Diver of the Year. A first in Old Dominion history.
Now it's time to focus on the NCAA Tournament - a place where Rachel has been before. What has she learned from past experience?
"I have to stay calm. I need to focus on one dive at a time," she told us during a recent practice. When she is on the board, you can see she is totally focused.
"I pick two things that I want to do well in. I get up there, then I hope for the best," she says with a big smile.
Her best is a school record in the three meter dive. She scored a 336.50. What will be her strategy going into the tournament next week?
"I start with a dive I am confident with, something that is hard to mess up. Then I put in two difficult dives afterwards and once I get through my third dive, I'm good to go."
Did you know Rachel is also superstitious? She has lucky bathing suits, lucky numbers, and lucky socks. In fact, she does not wear matching socks at all.
She describes her superstitions as "bad."
Bad has not been a word to describe Rachel Eckert's career at Old Dominion.
The NCAA Tournament begins Monday at the University of Buffalo. If Rachel finishes in the top five, she will advance to the second round.