March 2, 2013
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Junior Rafael Quintero won the platform diving competition to lead the Wildcats on the final day of the Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Men’s and Women’s Diving Championships at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center on Saturday.
“I’m really proud of the all the women’s swimmers and the men’s and women’s divers,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “I felt like we got a lot accomplished this week and I feel like we are ready for NCAAs with a little more rest. Congratulations to Rafael for his accomplishment of winning as a freshman on the tower. It has been a great season so far but now is the fun part and we really look forward to it.”
The final day started off strong for the Wildcats with freshman Rafael Quintero winning the platform diving competition in impressive fashion. Quintero finished with a score of 399.90 to just hold off 2012 Olympic medalist Kristian Ipsen (398.40) of Stanford and All-American Harrison Jones (392.00) of Arizona State. Quintero became just the seventh Arizona male to ever earn a Pac-12 title in the platform event. He also became the first Wildcat to win the platform as a newcomer since Arizona diving coach Omar Ojeda won it in 2001.
Quintero’s victory was not the only one of the night for the Wildcats as Megan Lafferty also qualified for the finals and turned in a solid fifth place performance with a time of 48.74.
In an exciting 400 free relay to close out the event, Cal posted a winning time of 3:12.37 to just edge the Wildcats. The Wildcats finished just .05 seconds behind at 3:12.42. However, Arizona concluded the championships with three relay titles.
The Wildcats finished fourth place in the team standings with 1128.5 points. Stanford won the team title with 1439.5 points followed by USC with 1418.5 points and Cal with 1333.5. UCLA rounded out the top five with 998.5 followed by Arizona State (786.5), Utah (347), Oregon State (297) and Washington State (189).
The Cats will now gear up for the NCAA Championships, which begin on March 21. Meanwhile, the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Championships get underway tomorrow with the 200 medley relay and the 800 free relay.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.