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Senior Benedetti plows over field at NCAA meet

With the Pac-10 Championships in the rearview mirror, the ASU swimming and diving teams have only more goal: qualify for the NCAA Championships.

For the divers, that final chance came this weekend in Austin, Texas, at the Zone E Diving Championships.

The Sun Devils competed against some of the best divers in the West and Pac-10 rivals from schools such as Stanford, Cal, UA and USC.

The top three divers in each competition qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Senior Micky Benedetti made the most of his final Zone E appearance and dominated the field on the way to winning his third consecutive platform title.

Benedetti totaled 789.95 on the last day of competition and scored more than 80 points higher than his closest competitor.

A day before his performance on the platform, Benedetti won the 3-meter springboard for the second-straight year by finishing nearly 30 points ahead of his nearest competitor.

The six-time All-American has won five Zone E Diving Championships in his career, two in the 3-meter and three in the platform.

Benedetti fell just short of the third spot in the one-meter springboard with a score of 632.25. He finished less than two points behind the third place finisher.

The women had a hard time duplicating Benedetti’s success. Sophomore Brittany Jumer had the ASU women’s best showing by placing tenth in the platform dive and seventh in the 3-meter springboard.

Senior Vinicius Waked will join Benedetti as the two ASU qualifiers for the Men’s NCAA Championships. The men start competition on March 26.

Waked qualified for the NCAA Championships last weekend by swimming well at the Pac-10 Championships. ASU finished the meet in sixth place and coach Michael Chasson said his team did well despite having fewer competitors than any other team.

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