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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA diver, coach earn Pac-12 recognition

Colin Prenger / Daily Wildcat
Colin Prenger / Daily Wildcat Ben Grado at the Wildcat Dive Invite at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center Saturday, Nov. 19. Grado took first in the finals on the last day.

Diving coach Omar Ojeda and senior diver Ben Grado were recognized as the Pac-12 Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Diver of the Year, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday.

Grado became the first diver to win all three diving events at the Pac-12 Championships since ASU’s Micky Benedetti did in 2008. Grado was the first Arizona diver to claim a conference title since Ojeda did so in 2001 and 2002, winning six events.

Grado ended his career on a high note by becoming the first diver in school history to win a national championship for the platform during the NCAA Championships in Federal Way, Wash. Grado posted a score of 487.25 and earned ninth place honors in both the one-meter and three-meter.

Ojeda was able to coach two of his divers, Grado and Andres Guerra, to the NCAA Championships in his first year at the UA. During his time competing as a Wildcat, Ojeda earning five All-American recognitions from 2000 to 2002 and earned the Pac-10 Men’s Diver of the Year award in 2001 and 2002.

Grado said he hopes to make the Olympic team and compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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