Feb. 26, 2004
Federal Way, WA - In the first day's action of the 2004 Pac-10 Men's and Women's Diving Championships, held at Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center, Arizona State divers claimed victories in the men's one-meter and women's three-meter springboard events. For the Bruins, sophomore Paige Thompson and Janine Strack both advanced to the three-meter finals. Thompson placed fourth, scoring 472.20 points. Strack was eighth with 403.30 points.
Arizona State sophomore Joona Puhakka, the 2003 Pac-10 men's diver and diving newcomer of the year, defended his 2003 Pac-10 one-meter title. In the finals, he performed the most difficult dive, a 405B (inward two and a half somersault pike) with a 3.4 degree of difficulty. His final score was 381.20, fifty points ahead of runner-up Josh Anderson. Anderson, representing the Arizona Wildcats, clinched second place with 331.20 points. And, USC junior Ray Vincent was third with 318.30 points.
"It feels good to win again," said Puhakka. "It was the first time that I dove my final dive in competition. I'm glad that it went so well. It could've been better, but I'm happy with my performance."
"Joona is in a different category. We were just trying to get him into the competition," said Arizona State Head Coach Mark Bradshaw. "He just returned from competing in the World Cup in Athens, Greece. I wanted him to come in and be steady. Fortunately, he's good enough and talented enough to come in and, although it wasn't his absolute best performance, come away with the win."
On women's three-meter springboard, Arizona State junior Trisha Tumlinson won her first Pac-10 title, scoring 520.95 points to seal the victory. Stanford's Cassidy Krug placed second, scoring 480.55 points. And, Arizona's Mary Yarrison was third with 480.40 points.
"It feels very good to win," said Tumlinson. "There has been a whole in my three-meter performance all year. It's nice to finally put it together and win tonight."
"This is a huge breakthrough for Trisha," said Bradshaw. "Not only is it her first Pac-10 title, but it is the first women's title for the program. I loved the way that she battled; she was steady and mentally strong. I'm very proud of her and think that she can do the same thing in the one-meter and platform, which are her strong events."
For the Bruins, sophomore Paige Thompson and junior Janine Strack both advanced to the final. Thompson placed fourth, scoring 472.70 points. In the prelims, she scored 504.95 points, the highest total of the preliminary round. Strack finished eighth in the final, scoring 403.30 points.
The Pac-10 Diving Championships will continue tomorrow. The men's three-meter and women's one-meter will be contested. Prelims begin at 11:00 AM (women's one-meter) and finals will begin at 4:00 PM.