Haapanen Has Solid Outing at FINA/USA Diving Grand Prix

May 11, 2007

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Former University of Wyoming diver Saara Haapanen continued her international diving career on Friday with a solid three-meter performance at the 2007 FINA/USA Diving Grand Prix at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Haapanen is a native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, but has dual citizenship in Canada and Finland and is currently competing for Finland.

Haapanen placed 18th in Thursday's three-meter event in a very competitive international field of 25 divers. She finished with a cumulative score of 228.85 in five rounds of diving. She finished with an average score of 5.67 per dive.

"Saara had a very good day and showed that she belonged at a meet of this caliber," said UW diving coach Ben Herdt. "She tried a new dive that she had never done in a competition before for her first dive and kind of missed it but rebounded nicely and finished strong.

"Both Saara and I were pretty green heading into this meet, and didn't know exactly what to expect. However, it was an extremely positive experience and we both learned a lot. This experience will be another great stepping stone for Saara. It will really help her next year when she is living in Finland and competing in international meets in Europe."

Russia's Yulia Pakhalina is currently leading the competition after Friday's preliminary competition with a score of 356.25. The three-meter competition will conclude on Sunday as the top-six divers vie for the three-meter championship.

*Complete results are available at www.usadiving.org*