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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA diving hosts invitational

For the second consecutive season, the UA dive team will host 14 of the nation’s top diving programs at the Wildcat Diving Invitational this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Kasser Family Pool.

Regardless of how the UA squad ends up performing, the benefits of simply hosting the event are endless.

“”It’s nice because you’re bringing quality competition in your door,”” said head diving coach Michele Mitchell. “”The weather is perfect of course. Everyone’s looking forward to coming to the sun.””

Traveling to the Tucson sun will be a few of the nation’s top dive teams including Brigham Young, Arizona State and Stanford, among others. The invitational will feature Olympians Elina Eggers and Riley McCormick out of ASU and NCAA finalist and national champion Dwight Dumais of Stanford.

Such a high level of competition should bring the best out of an Arizona team still working to reach its peak.

“”It’s always good to compete against kids that are better than you are, it makes you dive up a little bit,”” Mitchell said. “”You know where they are in their training and where their weak link is and how you stack up against them.””

The Wildcats expect to be in the mix for first-place as they feature last year’s winner Ben Grado and Saskatchewan’s sensational sophomore Ainsley Oliver. Grado and Oliver are expected to lead the pack, but it is the freshmen that should benefit most from the competition.

“”I think that it will be directed towards most of the freshmen to help them be more secure,”” Grado said. “”They know what to do and what boards to use, they won’t be freaked out by the different surroundings.””

For the Wildcats, freshmen like Cody Montgomery and Andy Guerra will use that comfort ability to post some productive scores.

While the competition is elite and the freshmen can settle down, it is hard to discount the amount of prospective Wildcats that will be in attendance.

“”When they see our facility they’re pretty surprised at what we have,”” Grado said. “”It really puts more motivation in choosing our school.””

While all of these benefits stem from simply hosting the event, there is also the aspect of actually winning the competition; a feat that Mitchell sees as obtainable.

“”I think we’ll do real well,”” Mitchell said. “”This will be a very good competition to judge where you are against those you’ll be competing later on in the season.””

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