March 24, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Junior All-American Joona Puhakka got the Arizona State University men's swimming and diving team off to a solid start Thursday evening at the 2005 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at the University Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota, winning the one-meter springboard championship. The Sun Devil men are in 15th-place after the first day of competition.
Puhakka, who entered the NCAAs as the NCAA Zone E Champion on the one-meter and three-meter events, took the top spot in preliminary action Thursday afternoon with a score of 385.00, to place him into the finals. After finishing third at the NCAAs last season, Puhakka reclaimed the national title in the one-meter springboard, scoring a 421.05 to top the field by nearly 25 points. His score sets a new school-record, beating his previous school-record that he set en route to winning his first national title in 2003.
Puhakka will hit the board again Friday, as he looks to defend his three-meter springboard title and become the first male student-athlete to win multiple individual national championships in the same year.
Also in action Friday, for the Sun Devil men is Emerson Ward in the 100 breaststroke. Ward, who holds the second-fastest time in ASU history in this event, is competing in his second NCAA Championships and is coming off a sixth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships where he swam a season best time of 54.63.
Preliminary action at the 2005 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships begins at 1:00 p.m. ET at the University Aquatic Center.