Men's Diving Nearly Sweeps 3-Meter Podium as Blaha Takes Conference Crown
Feb. 25, 2010
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The Arizona State diving team could not have gotten off to a better start than it did at the Pacific-10 Diving Championships. The team showcased its talent and depth as they almost completely dominated the first day. Highlighted by Constantin Blaha's gold on the 3-meter, the men nearly took the entire 3-meter podium.
'I knew Coco was diving well and had a strong lead,' said 13th year head coach Mark Bradshaw. 'With three of our guys in the finals, I didn't know exactly where Cam and Riley were. Our guys really stepped up today.'
In his first Pac-10 Championships, sophomore Constantin Blaha began the day in first during the preliminaries and never looked back. With 435.55 points, the 2008 Austrian Olympian swept the competition as he won by over 45 points. This is the eighth consecutive time a Sun Devil has taken the 3-meter conference crown. Joona Puhakka won 2003-06 while Micky Benedetti took the top of the podium in the event 2007-09.
'I'm glad I did so well in my first appearance at the Pac-10 Championships,' said Blaha. 'Five out of my six dives were great. I did miss one dive, which was unfortunate. It was really cool to have two of my teammates in the final with me and do so well.'
'Coco was even off one dive,' said 13th year head coach Mark Bradshaw. 'He built such a solid lead with his first three dives.'
Junior Cameron Bradshaw took silver for the Sun Devil. Bradshaw, who has arguably been one of the conference's most improved divers this season, jumped up from a seventh place finish in the preliminaries to the runner-up position. He scored 389.85 points to take second over Stanford's Brent Eichenseer.
'It's been nice to see Cameron develop as a 3-meter diver,' said Bradshaw on his son. 'He was off on his first dive but was just smoking after that. He began chipping away at everyone else's lead and wound up in second place.'
Freshman Riley McCormick narrowly missed the podium as he placed fourth with 381.20 points. The 2008 Canadian Olympian was less than a point away from earning the bronze and the Sun Devil sweep.
'Riley wasn't off today but he wasn't completely on,' said Coach Bradshaw.
On the women's side, sophomore Elina Eggers took third on the 1-meter in her first appearance at the Pac-10 Championships. Eggers, a 2008 Olympic finalist on the 10m platform, scored 311.10 to move up one spot from the preliminaries.
'Elina really did a good job today,' said Bradsawh. 'The USC divers are pretty tough.'
Chris Pasanella and Marissa Johnson also competed for the Sun Devils. Pasanella just missed the final, placing ninth with 285.20 points. Johnson finished 13th in the preliminaries after scoring 233 points.
'I don't know if we can do this again tomorrow, but if we come close to doing what we did today tomorrow I'll be happy,' said Bradshaw.
The men and women will flip events tomorrow, as the women will take on the 3-meter and the men the 1-meter. Live streaming and results can be found on www.pac-10.org.