Puhakka Defends Three-Meter Title, Sweeps Springboard Diving Events at NCAAs

March 25, 2005

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Junior All-American diver Joona Puhakka made Sun Devil and Pac-10 diving history Friday evening on the three-meter springboard at the 2005 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships held at the University Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The ASU swimming and diving team completed the second day of competition in 18th-place with 40 points.

Puhakka, who took the one-meter springboard title Thursday, hit the boards in preliminary action earlier this afternoon where he lead the field with a score of 205.85, putting him first heading into the finals Friday night. Puhakka scored a 645.20 in the finals of the three-meter event, topping the competition by a little more than 14 points to claim his second NCAA title in as many days and defend his crown earned in 2004.

With the springboard event sweep, Puhakka becomes the first male student-athlete in ASU history to win multiple individual national titles in the same year. He is the first student-athlete since ASU women's swimmer Beata Kaszuba in 1995 (100, 200 breaststroke) to earn the honor. Puhakka and Kaszuba are joined by former ASU gymnast Jackie Brummer (1986 - all-around, beam) as the only three Sun Devil athletes to win multiple individual titles in the same year. Puhakka, who already solidified his name in the Pac-10 records books this season, claimed another conference first as he became the first Pac-10 diver to win both the one-meter and three-meter NCAA titles. He made history in the swimming and diving program in 2003, becoming the first man to win two national championships in a career.

Puhakka's 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).

The 2005 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships concludes Saturday with the Sun Devils seeing action in the 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and platform diving on the final day of competition.

Junior Leonardo Martins takes to the pool in the 200 breaststroke for the ASU men in an event where he finished fifth at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships and holds the second-fastest time in ASU history. Junior All-American David Kolozar hits the water in the 200 butterfly event for the Sun Devils trying to improve on his 14th-place finish from the 2004 NCAA Championships. Kolozar holds the second-fastest time in the ASU record books and finished sixth at the Pac-10s. Puhakka will take to the board in the platform diving event to round out competition for ASU at the 2005 NCAAs.

Preliminary action will begin for the final day of competition at 1 p.m. ET at the University Aquatic Center.

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