ASU's Puhakka Places Sixth In Elite Diving Event
May 15, 2005
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Four-time NCAA Diving national champion and Arizona State junior Joona Puhakka placed sixth in the three-meter springboard over the weekend at the Speedo/FINA Diving Grand Prix at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center.
Going up against the best divers in the world, the two-time Olympian (competes for Finland) placed sixth with a score of 408.45. He finished behind 2004 Olympic silver medalist Alexandre Despatie (Canada), Cesar Castro (Brazil), Xu Xiang (China), He Chong (China) and Troy Dumais (USA).
The 2004-05 NCAA Diver of the Year and three-time Pac-10 Diver of the Year became the first male student-athlete in school history to win two individual titles in the same year when he won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events at the 2004 NCAA Championship in late March in Minneapolis. Puhakka has won back-to-back titles in the one-meter event, setting a NCAA and ASU record with a score of 421.05 to top the field by nearly 25 points.
Puhakka's junior season saw him claim first-place in all but one springboard event of the season, which includes both the one-meter and three-meter titles at the Pac-10 Championships and the one-meter and three-meter events at the Zone E Diving Championships. Puhakka's Pac-10 titles made conference history as he became the first man to win the Pac-10 title in the three-meter on three occasions and the first man to win three Pac-10 championships in the one-meter and three-meter events. His double championships at the NCAAs claimed another conference first as he became the first Pac-10 diver to win both the one-meter and three-meter NCAA titles in the same season.
Puhakka's diving resume now includes four national titles (one-meter, 2003, 2005; three-meter, 2004, 2005), six NCAA Zone E Diving Regional titles (one-meter, 2003, 2004, 2005; three-meter, 2003, 2004, 2005) and six Pac-10 Championships (one-meter, 2003, 2004, 2005; three-meter, 2003, 2004, 2005).