Haapanen Shines at Canadian Senior National Championships

Jan. 13, 2007

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

University of Wyoming senior Saara Haapanen had two great performances at the 2007 Canadian Senior National Championships in Quebec City and placed 11th in the 3-meter diving event and ninth in the 1-meter event.

Haapanen, a Thunder Bay, Ontario native, has dual citizenship in Canada and Finland. With her high scores, she has a chance of making the 2007 World Championship Finish National team. However she will have to wait to receive official word from Finland.

"Saara capped a great weekend with three great rounds of diving today," said UW head coach Ben Herdt. "I think she has a great shot at making Finland's National Team and competing in the World Championships but we will have to wait and see what happens."

In Friday's 1-meter competition, Haapanen reached the finals where she placed ninth with a score of 230.55. She reached the finals by turning in the ninth best preliminary score of 230.99.

"I am very happy with the way Saara dove on Friday," said Herdt. "She missed her first dive of the preliminary round but came back and didn't let it affect her. It was an especially great day considering she spent all of Thursday on a plane and in airports and had to get up and go in front of a big crowd in a meet of this magnitude."

In Saturday's 3-meter event, Haapanen qualified for the finals and placed 11th with a score of 747.00. She qualified for the finals by turning in the sixth best preliminary score (267.40) and the 11th best semifinal score (506.90).

"Saara had an awesome morning which allowed her to come back tonight. For her to finish with 747 points on 15 dives and be just under an average of 50 points per dive is phenomenal. To compete in a meet like this and to be as successful as she was, makes this an invaluable experience for Saara. This will help her so much as we finish out the season and with whatever she does following her college career," added Herdt.

*Complete video of this weekend's competition can be seen at www.rezman.net*