Three Divers Travel To Speedo American Cup

Jan. 7, 2003

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This Week
The Arizona State Diving Team will be in competition all week, as three of the program's top divers travel to the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington, Indiana for the Speedo American Cup. The event, hosted by Indiana University, includes qualifying competition January 7 & 8, and Cup competition the 10th-12th, on the 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform. Sun Devil women's diver Trisha Tumlinson received the program's only invitation to the event, where she is automatically eligible for Cup competition on the platform by virtue of her fourth-place finish at last year's Senior Nationals. She will also try to qualify for the 3-meter springboard competition. For the men, Joona Puhakka and Thomas McCrummen will be representing ASU as they will enter qualifying competition on Tuesday in hopes of earning spots for Friday's competition.

The Polls
The CSCAA released its fourth, and most recent, poll of the season on December 10. The ASU men fell one spot to 12th while the women moved up to 18th. For the complete poll, visit

About The Speedo American Cup
The American Cup 2003 is designed to be a world-class diving event. Head-to-head and cup formats will be used to determine a champion in the eight Olympic events (ASU will only compete in 3m springboard and platform). Both US and foreign divers will be invited by United States Diving to compete in the American Cup 2003 based on their performances in events in 2002. The prequalified divers are qualified for the American Cup 2003 in that event only and must go through the Qualifying Competition for any other events in which they wish to compete but are not already qualified. Invitations are extended to those who finished in the top eight at last year's Senior Nationals, the top three at last year's NCAAs, the top three at last year's Junior Nationals or winners of various international competitions, including the Olympics.

Diving Continues Strong Performances
Freshman men's diver Joona Puhakka continues his outstanding performances and has maintained his run of not losing an event as a Sun Devil. At the Texas Invitational in December, he finished first in both the 1m and 3m diving events, beating his nearest opponents by 45 points and 80 points, respectively. Sophomore women's diver Trisha Tumlinson set two school records at the Texas Invitational. In the 1m event, she earned a 291.95, besting the previous record of 287.10 set by junior diver Jessica Stenson last season. In her specialty, Tumlinson set the school record on the platform (453.15) in what was her first attempt at this event for ASU. At last weekend's duals against Missouri and Wyoming, Brant Bingham and Stenson each recorded two first-place finishes apiece for the men and women, respectively. Bingham recorded a 253.43 in the 1m and a 277.20 in the 3m to earn his first two wins as a Sun Devil. Stenson meanwhile scored a 239.48 in the 1m and a 247.05 in the 3m.

ASU, Last Time In The Pool
Both the women's and men's squads recorded convincing wins over Missouri and Wyoming last weekend in a double dual at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. The men defeated Missouri 212-67 and Wyoming 212-75. The women bested Missouri 195-92 and Wyoming 232-68. For the men, in addition to Brant Bingham's two wins in the diving pool, Nick Brunelli and David Kolozar led the swimmers with two wins apiece. Brunelli touched the wall first in the 100 free and the 200 free, while Kolozar finished first in the 200 fly and the 500 free. The ASU women won 14 of the 16 events and multiple winners included Sandra Steffensen (200 free, 500 free), Claire Hedenskog (50 free, 100 free), Petra Banovic (100 fly, 200 fly), �gnes Kov�cs (100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM), and Jessica Stenson (1m diving, 3m diving).

Sun Devils Nationally
Several swimmers have recorded times that are among the nation's best. For the men, Nick Brunelli is eighth in the 50 free (20.11), fourth in the 100 free (43.87) and his relay split of 1:36.55 in the 200 free would be good enough for second in the country. Bobby Zaabadich is fifth nationally in the 50 free (20.01), while Christian Harcsas is sixth in the 100 back (48.42) and third in the 200 back (1:43.82). The 200 free relay (1:20.03) is presently the second-fastest in the NCAA. For the women, �gnes Kov�cs leads the way as she is second nationally in the 100 breast (59.92), first in the NCAA in the 200 breast (2:09.90), and third in the 200 IM (1:58.13). The 400 free relay (3:20.14) is fourth-fastest in the nation.

Steffensen Joins Women
Sandra Steffensen (Trelleborg, Sweden) is a sprint and middle distance freestyler who joined the team at the semester break and will look to have an impact before this season's NCAAs. Steffensen placed fourth at the 2002 Swedish Senior Nationals in the 400m free, and at the 2000 Senior Swedish Nationals she was third in the 400m free and second in the 800m free. She has been a member of three Swedish record-setting relay teams and her 2001 400m relay team recorded the second best club time in the world. In her first competition as a Sun Devil at last weekend's dual meets against Missouri and Wyoming, Steffensen earned first-place in both the 200 free and 500 free. 'Sandra is one of the best short-course meters swimmers in the world,' says Sun Devil head swimming coach Mike Chasson. 'She'll help us immediately at the NCAA level and help our freestyle relays across the board. She is a big addition to our team.'

Up Next For The Sun Devils
Select swimmers will compete in the prestigious Dallas Morning News Invitational January 17 & 18 in Dallas, Texas.

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