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Pickens, Grado Qualify for NCAA Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 09, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 9, 2012


Arizona sophomore Samantha Pickens (Murrysville, Pa.) won the 3m board and senior Ben Grado (Conifer, Colo.) earned runner-up honors on the 1m board on the second day of the NCAA Diving Zone E Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Friday.

Both divers’ performances qualified them to compete in their respective NCAA Championships.

Pickens finished with a score of 668.70 to beat out 17 other divers after earning a first-place finish in the preliminary round. Grado’s second-place finish in the preliminary round put him just behind Stanford’s Kristian Ipsen, who won the event.

In addition, seniors Ainsley Oliver (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) and Andres Guerra (Sugarland, Texas) and freshman Carter Craft (Houston, Texas) all qualified and competed in the final round for the Wildcats.

“We had an amazing day today, even better than yesterday,” Arizona diving coach Omar Ojeda said. “It was great to have Samantha and Ben perform well and Andy, Ainsley and Carter also made it to the finals and competed hard.”

The divers will conclude the event on Saturday with the men’s and women’s platform competition. The women’s portion will start at 11 a.m. with prelims and 12:30 p.m. with finals and the men’s will begin at 3:30 p.m. with prelims and conclude with finals at 5 p.m.

For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona Diving, visit

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