Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona's Grado Takes Platform Title
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 20, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 20, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. -

Senior Ben Grado (Conifer, Colo.) earned his ninth first-place finish of the season with his win on the platform Sunday on the last day of the Wildcat Diving Invite.

Grado posted a score of 378.60 to beat out 17 divers from six schools.

“Overall I thought we did pretty well, especially as a team” Grado said. “Personally, I wasn’t feeling the greatest going into it and because it is such a big meet, I was a little worried about how I would hold up. Overall, I think I did pretty well, maintained what I know how to do and did what I did in practice.”

Freshman Josh Bidak (Phoenix, Ariz.) and senior Andres Guerra (Sugarland, Texas) also posted top-10 finishes, earning fifth and sixth-place finishes, respectively. Sophomore Sean Clark (Phoenix, Ariz.) finished just outside the top-10 at 11th place.

In the women’s competition, senior Ainsley Oliver (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) recorded a fourth-place finish, freshman Izzy Diamond (Tucson, Ariz.) finished in 14th, and sophomore Ashley Herrera (La Palma,Calif.) finished right behind her at 18th.

“We always enjoy hosting this Invitational,” head coach Michele Mitchell said. “It is a great way for our athletes to get really great competition without having to travel. I have definitely seen improvement in what our athletes are doing, there is still more room for improvement, but they are moving in the right direction.”

Grado and sophomore Samantha Pickens (Murrysville, Pa.) will compete in the USA Diving National Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. beginning on Saturday, Dec. 17 and continuing through Friday, Dec. 23.

For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona Swimming and Diving, visit

Margo Geer P12 WOTY