Cowgirl Diver Saara Haapanen to Compete in Canadian Senior Nationals

Jan. 11, 2007

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

University of Wyoming senior diver Saara Haapanen will compete in the 2007 Canadian Senior National Championships in Quebec City this weekend. She will be competing with aspirations of earning a spot in the 2007 World Championships which will be held in late March in Melbourne, Australia.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for Saara," said UW diving coach Ben Herdt. "She has the opportunity to advance her diving career past college which is very rare. This opportunity shows that she has accomplished great things and we are very excited for this opportunity. Saara is also giving Wyoming diving amazing exposure by participating in such a big meet."

Haapanen, a native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has had a stellar career as a Cowgirl to date. She is a two-time First Team All-Mountain West Conference selection, has qualified for the NCAA Zone "E" Diving Championships every year of her career and ranks in the top-three of the Wyoming record books in all-three diving events. She has also been named Academic All-MWC twice in her career.

Haapanen enters the senior national meet on a high note after turning in the second best 1-meter score in Wyoming history last Friday in a three team diving dual with TCU and Trinity University. In that meet she won the 1-meter event and placed second in the 3-meter event. For her accomplishments, she was named the MWC Diver of the Week.

"The most exciting part of this opportunity for Saara is that she is doing the best diving of her career right now. It is great that she is at the top of her game and has the opportunity to display her talents on such a big stage," added Herdt.

The 1-meter diving event is scheduled to take place on Friday and the 3-meter will be held on Saturday. Preliminary competition will be held each morning and the finals will be held that evening.