Benedetti set to take final dives

3-26-09 Swimming
Senior diver Mickey Benedetti will begin competition today at the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas. (Photo courtesy of ASU Media Relations)
Published On:
Thursday, March 26, 2009
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Every story must come to an end, and the same can be said for every storied athlete’s collegiate career.

And when that end comes, one question will always be asked: “What do I do next?”

For senior diver Micky Benedetti that end will come this weekend at the NCAA Championships.

Benedetti will compete in his third NCAA Championships today in College Station, Texas, when he takes his turn in the 1-meter springboard preliminaries.

“I’m pretty excited and I feel like I’m ready,” the six-time All-American said. “I feel like I’ve had fun these four years, but I’m ready for it to be over. … I’m just trying to enjoy this last year.”

He is looking to bounce back from a disappointing finish last season that was “kind of a bummer.”

A top-10 finish may be a crowning achievement for most, but for Benedetti his sights are always set higher.

In his first NCAA competition, Benedetti finished second in the 1-meter springboard, but could not duplicate that success the following year.

Benedetti’s goals this weekend are to place in the top three in the 3-
meter springboard and qualify for the finals in his other events.

If the Pac-10 and NCAA Zone E Championships are any indication of future success, things are looking good for Benedetti.

He won his third-consecutive 3-meter springboard at the Pac-10 Championship.

Benedetti rose to the occasion at the Zone E Championships. He won his third-straight platform competition, crushing his nearest competitor by more than 80 points.

“It’s a totally different meet. There are way better divers here,” Benedetti said. “At the Pac-10’s I go to win. Here there are 15 divers that are on my same level, and it’s really intense for the whole weekend. You can’t really compare this to the Pac-10’s.”

Although Benedetti’s college career will end on Saturday night, he said he would continue diving until 2012, when he hopes to qualify for the London Olympics.

Benedetti will not have much time to think about all he has accomplished as a Sun Devil. Just hours after his last dive Benedetti will be on a plane to his home country of Italy to compete in the European Diving Cup.

“I still have one more year of school and I’m going to keep diving until 2012,” Benedetti said. “Once I get my degree, I’m going to practice back home. I’ve still got a lot to figure out and I really have no idea.”

Benedetti will be joined by senior freestyle swimmer Vinicius Waked.

Reach the reporter at todonnel@asu.edu.