Kimberly Robinson-Dean, '89 (Swimming)

Inducted 2012

Kimberly Robinson Dean concluded her record-setting diving career at Catholic University by competing in the 1989 NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships. She qualified for the national meet – at the University of Notre Dame – with outstanding performances all season, punctuated by a “superb meet’ against St. Mary’s (Md.).

“The senior diver had the meet of her life,” CUA’s student newspaper, The Tower, reported. “She won the preliminary dive … and on the last regular season dive of her collegiate career, Kim qualified for the National Championships.”

Robinson Dean came to CUA after turning down scholarship offers from Boston College and Division III powerhouse Kenyon College. As a sophomore, she was the only Cardinal to win an event against a powerful Mary Washington squad. “Robinson came in first in the required diving, and also placed first in the optional diving,” according to The Tower. “Robinson, to date, remains undefeated in diving this year,” a record she maintained for the entire season.

In 1987-88, she helped the Cardinals post an 8-4 record and advance to the Tri-State Swimming & Diving Championships for the first time. Featuring Division I, II and III teams at Bryn Mawr College outside Philadelphia, CUA finished seventh. She placed third in 1-meter and 3-meter diving. As a senior, Robinson Dean led the Cardinals to a 10-2 record, including victories over three Division I squads. CUA hosted the Tri-State Championships and placed fourth. This time Robinson Dean was the meet diving champ.

She placed first 55 times during her illustrious career, but because the Cards competed as an independent, she never garnered the All-Conference recognition she otherwise would have achieved.

Kyra Lyons, executive director of the CUA Office of Alumni Relations who swam for the Cardinals during Robinson Dean’s tenure, said, “Kim made diving look effortless. I always watched in amazement as she would tuck, spin and twist with so much gracefulness.” After concluding her career at nationals, she was honored with the Sister Rosemary Donley Cup as CUA’s outstanding female student-athlete.

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