FEDERAL WAY, Washington, February 11. THE Pac-10 Diving Championships concluded today with the men's and women's platform events from the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
Overall, the Trojans would take home six trophies, five amongst the men's duo of seniors Michael Hilde and Kenny Jenkins and one second place finish going to junior women's diver, Kim Popp. Even with such success, the meet was clearly dominated by Arizona State's Micky Benedetti and Stanford's Cassidy Krug, who would each earn two Pac-10 diving titles a piece, Benedetti in the men's three-meter and the platform; Krug in the women's one-meter and three-meter springboard.
In men's competitions, Arizona State redshirt freshman, Michele "Micky" Benedetti (Rome, Italy) would take home the Pac-10 platform diving championship with a final score of 394.90 on this apparatus. He was able to separate himself from the rest of the field, registering a 156.50 after only two dives. Benedetti's second dive alone netted him 80 points. Behind him were the two Trojan seniors once again, Michael Hilde (Mission Viejo, Calif.) with a score of 353.80 and Kenny Jenkins (Rockville, Md.) turning in a 352.80 score. The dual finish put the two Trojans on the awards podium, collecting the fifth trophy out of nine possible this weekend.
Crediting his teammate for much of his own success, Hilde said, "We both feed off each other and when he does a great dive, I'm going to step up and do another great dive. Having such a great competitor to go against in practice only makes each of us better."
The rest of the men's platform final eight rounded out as follows: Stanford senior Kevin McLean (Eagan, Minn.) had 337.10 to finish in fourth; Stanford sophomore Dwight Dumais (Ventura, Calif.) had 269.30 for a fifth place finish; Arizona freshman Michael Guilfoil (Cincinnati, Ohio) had 241.75 for sixth; Stanford junior Nathan Kim (St. Paul, Minn.) took seventh with a 241.55 mark and California sophomore Sam Helvie (Bakersfield, Calif.) completed the event with a 215.25 mark.
In the men's platform preliminary, Jenkins set the standard with a strong 30-point lead over teammate, Michael Hilde. Jenkins' mark of 367.45 and Hilde's 332.40 put the duo in the top three for the second event in a row. The two have been in the top five divers entering each final event this weekend. Jenkins averaged better than 61 points on each of his preliminary dives. He would nail a back two and a half somersault with one and a half twists in the pike position for a score of 73.10, giving him his large margin in the final standings. Hilde was never too far behind his fellow Trojan though, proving once again to be a model of true consistency.
Earning the men's three-meter and platform diving championship crowns, Benedetti was awarded for his remarkable performances by being named the Pac-10 Diving Championship Men's Diver of the Meet as voted on by the Pac-10 coaches.
In women's competitions, UCLA sophomore Tess Schofield (Mission Viejo, Calif.) continued her strong performance on the platform from prelims through finals and took home first place in the event. Her score of 280.95 was only ten points better than USC junior Kim Popp (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) who finished second with 271.10 points. This is Popp's second straight finish at the two-spot in the Pac-10 women's platform championships. Stanford freshman Shana Karp (Chevy Chase, Md.) had 259.30 and would take the awards stand for the first time in her Pac-10 career.
"It felt like things got better as the weekend went along. I loved competing with all the girls here and it just feels good to finish strong" said Popp.
The rest of the women's platform final rounded out as follows: Stanford junior Katie Lampe (Los Gatos, Calif.) finished fourth with a score of 242.85; Arizona senior Megan MacDonald had 232.35 in fifth; California freshman Sam Young (Shoreline, Wash.) ended up sixth with 222.65; Arizona State sophomore Erin Hobbs had 220.00 in seventh place and Arizona sophomore Allison Scaife (Glendale, Ariz.) tallied a 201.75 mark.
The women's platform would be the first event to produce a finals field with at least one diver from each participant school. In the prelims, Popp delivered a worthy performance earning her a score of 276.40, only ten points behind the leader, Schofield who tallied 286.50 in her prelim performance. The two were far ahead of the rest of the group however, with Stanford junior Katie Lampe (Los Gatos, Calif.) finishing with a 238.85 mark for third.
At ninth place in the prelims, USC freshman Jennifer Goldberg (Millwood, N.Y.) barely missed the cut for the women's platform finals, turning in a score of 198.80, which registered only five-one-hundredths of a point behind the final entrant, Arizona's sophomore Allison Scaife's 198.85 score. Goldberg's final standing marked her highest finish at the Pac-10 Championships in her young career.
Although she did not participate in the women's platform events, Stanford senior Cassidy Krug was honored for her two Pac-10 championships in both the one-meter and three-meter by the coaches, who voted her the women's Diver of the Meet.
Point totals generated from winning events at these Pac-10 Diving Championships will go toward a cumulative team score in order to determine the Pac-10's 2007 Swimming Champions in events to be held later this month. The women's championship will be held Feb. 14-17 in Long Beach, Calif. and the men will compete a week later, Feb. 21-24 in Federal Way, Wash.
Trojan Diver Results
Senior Michael Hilde finished third in the men's one-meter preliminary with a 315.85 score and took third in the event final with score of 339.65. In the men's three-meter preliminary, Hilde came in second with 369.10 points and completed the event final with a score of 318.55, good for sixth place. Hilde turned in a second place finish with 332.40 points in the men's platform preliminary and completed the championships with his second visit to the podium, taking second place in the event final with a score of 353.80.
Senior Kenny Jenkins finished fifth in the men's one-meter preliminary with a 307.30 score and took second in the event final with a score of 350.75. In the men's three-meter preliminary, Jenkins took third with a score of 368.35 and took second again in the event final with a score of 360.55. Jenkins' 367.45 score led the entire field in the men's platform preliminary and took third place in the event final with a score of 352.80.
Junior Kim Popp finished 20th in the women's three-meter preliminary with a 216.85 score; ninth in the women's one-meter preliminary with a 241.10 score; second in the women's platform preliminary with a 276.40 score and would maintain her second place standing in the finals, completing the event final with a 271.10 mark.
Freshman Jennifer Goldberg finished 17th in the women's three-meter preliminary with a 220.90 score; 22nd in the women's one-meter preliminary with a 193.85 score; and ninth in the women's platform preliminary with a 198.80 score.
Freshman Alexis DeMond finished 12th in the women's three-meter preliminary with a 228.85 score; fifth in the women's one-meter preliminary with a 247.20 score and seventh in the final with a 249.10 score.
Trojan divers will now begin to prepare for the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships to be held Mar. 1-3 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Qualifying divers from these championships will go on to represent their institutions at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn.
The 2007 Pac-10 Diving Champions and award winners:
Men's one-meter diving champion: Stanford sophomore Dwight Dumais
Men's three-meter diving champion: Arizona State freshman Michele "Micky" Benedetti
Men's platform diving champion: Arizona State freshman Michele "Micky" Benedetti
Men's Diver of the Meet: Arizona State freshman Michele "Micky" Benedetti
Women's one-meter diving champion: Stanford senior Cassidy Krug
Women's three-meter diving champion: Stanford senior Cassidy Krug
Women's platform diving champion: UCLA sophomore Tess Schofield
Women's Diver of the Meet: Stanford senior Cassidy Krug