Feb. 21, 2006
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Freshman Sam Helvie leads a trio of California men's divers that will compete at the Pac-10 Men's and Women's Diving Championships this Thursday through Saturday at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatics Center. Five teams - Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Stanford and USC - will contest the men's crowns in the one-meter and three-meter springboards and the platform.
Helvie, who earned Pac-10 Diver of the Month honors for December, will vie for the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year honor that went to sophomore teammate Javier Rivas last season. Both Rivas and fellow sophomore Mark Wes join Helvie and Cal diving coach Ron Kontura at this year's Pac-10s. Helvie earned his Pac-10 honor after becoming the first Cal diver to win an event at the annual Texas Invitational, taking the platform with a score of 282.85 on Dec. 3, 2005.
Last year, senior Louie Gagnet had Cal's best finishes at Pac-10s, taking second (499.15) on the platform, fourth (281.35) on the one-meter springboard and fifth (524.70) on the three-meter board.
Arizona State senior All-American Joona Puhakka won both the one- and three-meter springboards at last year's championships, earning Diver of the Year honors for the third straight year. USC's Ray Hilde won the platform.
This season, in Cal's dual-meet win over Arizona State on Jan. 20 in Berkeley, Calif., Helvie beat Puhakka on both springboards. The product of Bakersfield, Calif., won the one-meter board with a Cal-record 375.92 points to Puhakka's 372.60. Helvie also took second (325.12) on the three-meter board while Puhakka was third (304.87). ASU's Brent Bingham won the three-meter event (369.52).
The schedule for this year's Pac-10 Diving Championships is as follows:
Thursday, Feb. 23
11 a.m. Women's One-Meter Preliminaries
2:15 p.m. Men's Three-Meter Preliminaries
4:30 p.m. Women's One-Meter Final
5:30 p.m. Men's Three-Meter Final
Friday, Feb. 24
11 a.m. Men's One-Meter Preliminaries
1:15 p.m. Women's Three-Meter Preliminaries
4:30 p.m. Men's One-Meter Final
5:30 p.m. Women's Three-Meter Final
Saturday, Feb. 25
12 p.m. Women's Platform Preliminaries
2:15 p.m. Men's Platform Preliminaries
4 p.m. Women's Platform Final
5:15 p.m. Men's Platform Final
The Pac-10 Men's Swimming Championships will take place March 1-4 in Federal Way.