Aug. 11, 2011
LOS ANGELES -
Arizona senior diver Ben Grado finished fifth in both the quarterfinals and the semifinals on the 10-meter platform at the ATT USA Diving National Championships on Wednesday in Los Angeles. His finish qualified him to compete in Sunday's final and for the 2012 USA Diving Olympic Trials next June. In addition, he qualified to compete in the 3-meter and 1-meter championships and will compete in the 3-meter on Thursday.
"Ben performed very consistently in today's competition," Arizona head diving coach Michele Mitchell said. "He was the most solid diver in the competition. He wasn't on fire, but he didn't miss and at the end of the day, the results proved his consistently."
This competition marked Grado's first major competition on the 10-meter since May of 2010, when he had major reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder.
"We are VERY excited that Ben is now qualified on the 10-meter platform as well as the 3-meter springboard for next year's Olympic Trials in Seattle," Mitchell said. "He is so acrobatic and an incredibly hard worker as well as a natural talent."
Arizona sophomore Samantha Pickens will also compete on Thursday for a national title on the 1-meter springboard after finishing in the top eight last summer. She will also compete in the 3-meter on Friday.
Finals for the Championships will take place on Sunday and will be televised on NBC. Results and live scoring are available at www.usadiving.org.