Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Ben Grado Wins 3m Board at Pac-12 Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 23, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 23, 2012


Senior diver Ben Grado (Conifer, Colo.) became the first Arizona Pac-12 Champion with his win on the 3m board at the Pac-12 Championships in Federal Way, Wash. on Thursday.

Grado is the first male diver to achieve this feat since current head diving coach Omar Ojeda won in 2002. Ojeda won six events as a Wildcat from 2001 to 2002.

“This is my last year, so it feels great to get the win,” Grado said. “Knowing it has been so long since someone from Arizona has won makes it that much sweeter.”

Grado joined teammate Samantha Pickens (Murrysville, Pa.) in her success as she earned runner-up honors on the 1m earlier in the day.

“Our diving program really showed its strength today,” Arizona head coach Eric Hansen said. “With Sam getting second and Ben becoming a Pac-12 champion, I’m really proud of what that program has produced.”

Although the male divers are competing at the Women’s Pac-12 Championships, all scores will count towards the Men’s Pac-12 Championships, taking place in Long Beach, Calif. beginning Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Both Grado and Pickens will continue competition in the next two days, with men’s 1m and women’s 3m taking place on Friday and both platform events taking place on Saturday.

For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona Swimming and Diving, visit or follow @ArizonaSwimming on Twitter.

Margo Geer P12 WOTY