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Cal Divers Compete at NCAA Regional
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/08/2006

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March 8, 2006

BERKELEY, Calif. -

BEARS LOOK TO QUALIFY FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The California men's divers will try to qualify for the NCAA Championships at this week's NCAA Zone E competition Thursday through Saturday in Oklahoma City, Okla. Golden Bears diving coach Ron Kontura brings his entire contingent - star freshman Sam Helvie and sophomores Javier Rivas and Mark Wes - to the meet, which the U.S. Air Force Academy is hosting at the Oklahoma City Community College.

The Cal swimmers are off until the 83rd annual NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships March 23-25 in Atlanta, Ga.

HELVIE TAKES FOURTH ON PLATFORM AT PAC-10S
At the 2006 Pac-10 Men's Diving Championships March 23-25 in Federal Way, Wash., freshman Sam Helvie had Cal's best finish, taking fourth on the platform with a score of 271.35. Bears sophomore Javier Rivas was seventh (239.05) on the platform. On the one-meter springboard, Rivas had Cal's best finish, taking eighth (271.85). On the three-meter board, Helvie led the way for Cal, with a ninth-place finish (283.15).

HELVIE NAMED PAC-10 DIVER OF THE MONTH FOR DECEMBER
The Pac-10 Conference named California freshman Sam Helvie its Pac-10 Diver of the Month for December after the Bakersfield, Calif., product won the platform title on Dec. 3, 2005, at the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas. Helvie scored 282.85, and became the first Golden Bear diver to win an event at the invitational. This is the first monthly honor for Helvie and Cal's first Diver of the Month all-time.

Helvie also set a school record (375.92) and beat decorated Arizona State All-American Joona Puhakka when the young Bear won the one-meter springboard in the 159-78 dual-meet win over the Sun Devils on Jan. 20 at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Helvie also won the one-meter board (332.92) in a 202-98 dual-meet win over Arizona on Jan. 21 in Berkeley.

2005 NCAA ZONE E
California senior Louie Gagnet qualified for the 2005 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships by taking third place on the one-meter springboard on March 10, 2005, at the 2005 NCAA Division I Zone E Diving Regional held today at Oklahoma Community College. Gagnet had a score of 625.35 to finish behind winner Joona Puhakka from Arizona State (664.55) and runner-up John Collier from Arizona (654.00).

On March 11, 2005, Gagnet took fourth on the three-meter springboard and qualified for the 2005 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships with a score of 539.50. He finished behind winner Joona Puhakka from Arizona State (612.55), runner-up John Collier from Arizona (552.65) and third-place finisher Mike Hilde from USC (541.60).

Gagnet concluded his run in the regional event on March 12, 2005, by taking fourth on the platform competition with a score of 465.50. USC swept the top three spots, with Ray Vincent (539.15) winning the event followed by teammates Kenny Jenkins (509.05) and Mike Hilde (477.45).

DIVING COACH Ron Kontura
Ron Kontura enters his second year as the men and women's diving coach at California and his eighth year of collegiate coaching. Cal divers broke several records in Kontura's first year in Berkeley. Senior Louie Gagnet broke every school record on his way to becoming the most accomplished male diver in Cal history and freshman Javier Rivas received the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year award. Prior to his arrival at Cal, Kontura achieved success at Illinois State, Michigan, Allegheny College and the Mission Viejo Nadadores Diving Club.

NCAA Zone E Schedule
(All times CST)

Thursday, March 9
Women's 1-Meter 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Men's 3-Meter 3:15-5:45 p.m.

Friday, March 10
Men's 1-Meter 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Women's 3-Meter 3:30-7 p.m.

Saturday, March 11
Women's Platform 10:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Men's Platform 1:45-3:45 p.m.


Cal Bears Men's Swimming & Diving


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