ASU swim and dive faces elite talent at road invites

Junior diver Hailey Casper descends into the water during an ASU dive practice last season. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

This weekend brings a quick turnaround for the ASU swim and dive program.

The swimmers travel back to California for the prestigious Arena Invitational in Long Beach starting Thursday, while the divers travel to Tucson to compete in UA’s Wildcat Invitational opening Friday.

Last year, ASU competed in the Arena Invitational and the women finished second overall among formidable opponents like Cal, Stanford and UCLA.

It will be much of the same this year, as some of the nation’s top programs travel to Long Beach, Calif. Notable teams on the men’s side are No. 3 Stanford, BYU and Air Force.

As if it wasn’t tough enough for the No. 16 ASU women’s team last weekend going up against two top-15 programs, the Arena Invitational features even more elite competition. The women’s side of the invite boasts talented teams such as defending champion No. 3 California, No. 15 UCLA and No. 25 San Diego State.

The divers are also faced with a difficult field in Tucson. Teams expected to be in attendance are California, Stanford and host UA among others.

“It should be a good contest,” dive coach Mark Bradshaw said. “Most of the schools in our zone are going to be there.”

Last year, junior Hailey Casper fared well, finishing first in the 3-meter springboard on the first day of the event.

“I would think that both (Casper) and Morgan (Weller) should be in the hunt for the top three or four women,” Bradshaw said.

One notable matchup at the Wildcat Invitational will feature senior Harrison Jones diving against Kristian Ipsen from Stanford.

Ipsen is the defending NCAA champion in the 3-meter dive.


Riley McCormick Update

Junior diver Riley McCormick underwent surgery on his thumb Tuesday.

The surgery went well and now it’s just a matter of healing for the Olympian, Bradshaw said.

Whether McCormick will miss the entire season still remains unknown.


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