Pickens, Weller and Li pick up 2013 Pac-12 women's diving awards
By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Arizona junior Samantha Pickens was named Pac-12 Women's Diver of the Year, USC's Hongping Li was named Pac-12 Women's Diving Coach of the Year and Arizona State freshman Morgan Weller was named Pac-12 Women's Diving Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, the Conference office announced today. The awards were voted on by the Pac-12 women's diving coaches.
Pickens placed third on the one-meter springboard and second on the three-meter springboard at the 2013 Pac-12 Championships and capped the season with a victory on the one-meter springboard at the NCAA Championships. It was the first individual national title for the Murrysville, Pa. native, who earned a pair of runner-up finishes at the NCAA Championships in 2012. Pickens, the school record holder on the three-meter, took home Pac-12 Women's Diver of the Month honors for January after winning five of seven events in which she competed.
Weller won the one-meter and placed sixth on the three-meter at the Pac-12 Championships. A native of Vancouver, Canada, she went on to finish fourth on the one-meter and fifth on the three-meter at the Zone E Championships before earning a 14th-place finish on the one-meter at the NCAA Championships. Weller, whose victory on the one-meter at the Pac-12 Championships was Arizona State's first in the event since 2005, set the school mark on the three-meter in a January dual meet with Stanford.
Li has been named the Pac-12 Women's Diving Coach of the Year for the fifth consecutive year and a record ten times overall. Since joining the Trojans in 1999, Li has guided men's and women's divers to seven NCAA titles. Under his tutelage, redshirt sophomore Haley Ishimatsu established a new NCAA record on the platform last month en route to winning her first national title. She was named the Diver of the Meet at the Pac-12 Championships after winning the platform, placing second on the one-meter and finishing fourth on the three-meter.