Kevin Bretting and Saara Haapanen Shine During Second Day of Zone Diving

March 2, 2007


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Wyoming senior divers Kevin Bretting and Saara Haapanen each finished in the top-eight of their respective events during the second day of the NCAA Zone "E" Diving Championships and are in contention to possibly qualify for the NCAA Championships, Friday in Oklahoma City, Okla. The ten women and nine men who qualify for the NCAA's will be decided following tomorrow's platform event.

"We had some great springboard performances today and really showed that Wyoming diving is an up and coming program," said UW diving coach Ben Herdt. "Kevin and Saara each had fantastic days and are right on the bubble of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. They will both be very close but right now it looks like Kevin will just get in and Saara will just miss out. However, anything can happen tomorrow and we will have to wait and see."

Bretting turned in his stellar performance in the men's three-meter event. His score of 652.95 was good enough for an eighth place finish in a very talented field of 21 regional divers. Senior John Lynch also reached the finals and placed 14th with a score of 606.65.

Haapanen put herself on the qualifying bubble by placing seventh in the women's one-meter event. The reigning Mountain West Conference champion in the event, Haapanen finished with a score of 511.35. Three other Cowgirls competed in one-meter preliminaries with senior Emily Keefer placing 19th (227.85), junior Brittany Wainwright finishing 21st (224.50) and freshman Stephanie Ortiz placing 25th (219.45). The women's field consisted of 38 divers.

Magnus Frick, from the University of Hawaii, won the men's three-meter event with a score of 749.90. BYU's Brandon Watson placed second (733.05) and Arizona State's Michele Benedetti finished third (708.40).

On the women's side, Stanford's Cassidy Krug won the one-meter event with a score of 617.60. Hawaii's Emma Friesen placed second (582.80) and UCLA's Marisa Samaniego finished third (541.05).

"I couldn't be more proud of our team," added Herdt. "In every event, we are right in the mix with some of the best divers in the country. This is a great meet with a very talented field of divers, especially on the men's side. We are all excited to see what will happen tomorrow."

The zone meet will conclude tomorrow with the men's and women's platform event. Bretting, Haapanen and Wainwright, who placed eighth in Thursday's three-meter event, will all find out their NCAA status following tomorrow's competition.