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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona athletes looking to punch tickets to London Olympic Games

Colin Prenger / Daily Wildcat
Colin Prenger / Daily Wildcat The UA diving team held the Wildcat Dive Invite at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center last Friday through Sunday. Senior Ben Grado took first in the finals on the last day.

The 2012 London Olympics are exactly one month away, and there are a handful of Arizona athletes attempting to compete with the United States Olympic teams in swimming, diving and track.

The diving trials took place in Federal Way, Wash., from June 17 to June 24. Both Pickens and Grado placed in the top 15 in the 3-meter springboard preliminaries, advancing them to the semifinals. Pickens placed ninth and was able to reach the finals with a score of 570.00, before failing to make the cut in the finals with a 12th place finish.

Grado, who also competed in the men’s platform dive, was unable to qualify for the finals in the 3-meter springboard, but advanced to the finals in the platform, before placing seventh with a score of 1170.80, eliminating him from contention.

Arizona track and field sent 12 athletes, alumni and volunteer assistant coaches to their trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The trials began on June 21 with the hammer throw and will continue through July 1.

June 26 and June 27 were “rest days,” meaning there is no competing for the athletes, but in the first half of the competition, junior high jumper Nick Ross set a personal-best mark, and second best in Arizona history, in his event, clearing 7-feet-5.75 inches in the competition. Ross was unable to make the Olympic team however, as he failed to make the 7-foot-7-inch Olympic Games “A” Standard.

Sophomore Baillie Gibson competed in the women’s discus event on Sunday. Her 148-foot-4-inch toss was good enough for 12th place in the final of the event, but not enough for London.

Junior hurdler Georganne Moline will compete in the preliminary round of the 400-meter hurdles on Thursday.

Volunteer assistant coach Jill Camarena-Williams, junior Alyssa Hasslen and Gibson are all competitors in the women’s shot put. The preliminary round will also be held Thursday.

NCAA Champion high jumper Brigetta Barrett will take her first steps at a potential spot on the Olympic team on Thursday in the women’s high jump event.

Arizona swimming brought the largest number of competitors to their trials set in Omaha, Neb., that began Monday afternoon. More than 1,850 swimmers will compete from Monday until July 2, with 56 of them coming from the Wildcats program.

After the first day of competition, freshman Kevin Cordes, who won the national championship for the men’s 100 breatstroke event in March, placed sixth and qualified for the final.

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