Trojan Divers Meet in Final Again

Feb. 10, 2007

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Senior Trojans Kenny Jenkins (Rockville, Md.) and Michael Hilde (Mission Viejo, Calif.) found themselves in a familiar position as the men's three-meter championship final began. Diving sixth and seventh respectively, they knew they would face stiff competition from Arizona State redshirt freshman, Michele 'Micky' Benedetti (Rome, Italy) and the defending men's three-meter champion, Stanford sophomore Dwight Dumais (Ventura, Calif.).

Jenkins put on a strong performance in the men's final today posting a score of 360.55 on the way to a second place finish and his second trip to the awards stand this weekend. Hilde was not as fortunate. With the strong field of divers, even with a respectable score of 318.55, he finished the finals in sixth place.

The show eventually belonged to Benedetti however, who averaged better than 72.0 points on each of his dives from the three-meter board on the way to his first Pac-10 diving championship. His 433.10-point finish was more than 70.0 points better than Jenkins' second place finish.

The new Pac-10 men's three-meter champion, Micky Benedetti said, 'I'm really happy with my performance. This is a big meet and I'm glad that I did my best dives today.'

Stanford's Dumais trailed the top three entering the sixth and final round of dives but his final dive gave him a comfortable edge (346.95 to 324.45) on his teammate, senior Kevin McLean (Eagan, Minn.) and a second trip to the awards podium this weekend. Rounding out the final results were California sophomore Sam Helvie (Bakersfield, Calif.) with 322.40, senior Trojan Michael Hilde with 318.55, and Arizona junior Matt Bisordi (Mountain View, Calif.) and Stanford junior Nathan Kim (St. Paul, Minn.) each with a score of 310.05.

Freshman Alexis Demond (Potomac, Md.) would be the sole Trojan representative in the women's one-meter final, completing her day with 249.10 points and a seventh place finish. DeMond started off the finals with strong dives but the experience of the other divers was too much to overcome.

Stanford senior Cassidy Krug (Coraopolis, Pa.) would repeat her 2004 freshman year performance by taking the women's one-meter Pac-10 championship with a final score of 293.45. Following close behind were UCLA sophomore Marisa Samaniego (Altadena, Calif.) with 287.40 and UCLA senior Sara Clark (Los Gatos, Calif.) with 283.30.

A true-perfectionist, Krug's solid first place finish was still not good enough for her own liking. 'There always something you could do better, but overall, it was good enough', said Krug of her performance.

Rounding out the final right in the women's one-meter event were UCLA senior Amanda Blong (Potomac, Md.) with a score of 276.30, California freshman Sam Young (Shoreline, Wash.) with a score of 261.85, Stanford junior Katie Lampe (Los Gatos, Calif.) with 258.80, DeMond in the seventh spot and Arizona senior Megan MacDonald (Aurora, Colo.) with 233.85.

The men's three-meter preliminary was once again a heated battle between Arizona State redshirt freshman Michele 'Micky' Benedetti, Stanford sophomore Dwight Dumais and fellow senior Trojans Michael Hilde and Kenny Jenkins. The foursome took turns atop the leader board throughout the round much as they had on the one-meter the day before.

Michael Hilde entered the final round of preliminary dives with a comfortable lead but it looked like the race for second would be tightly contested between Jenkins and Dumais separated by just seven tenths of a point with 303.85 to 303.15 respectively. Dumais would turn it on once again scoring a 70.50 on his final dive to finish the preliminaries in first with 373.65 followed by the two Trojans, Hilde with 369.10 and Jenkins who had 368.35 respectively.

In the women's one-meter preliminary round, Alexis Demond took fifth place with a score of 247.20 by edging out Stanford junior Katie Lampe by less than a single point. DeMond put on a display of consistency early on, never receiving a mark of less than 5.5 from any judge on each of her dives. Junior Kim Popp (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) was barely denied a shot in the final round scoring 241.10 but coming up just three points short of placing eighth in the preliminaries. Trojan freshman Jennifer Goldberg (Millwood, N.Y.) completed the one-meter event scoring 193.85, finishing in 22nd place in the standings.

Point totals generated from winning events at these Pac-10 Diving Championships will go toward a cumulative team score in order to determine the Pac-10's 2007 Swimming Champions in events to be held later this month. The women's championship will be held Feb. 14-17 in Long Beach, Calif. and the men will compete a week later, Feb. 21-24 in Federal Way, Wash.

Diving will conclude tomorrow with both the men's and the women's platform diving events. The men's platform final will be at 2:30PM followed by the women's platform final at 3:30PM.

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