Divers shine on global stage, Bradshaw named to Team USA coaching staff


May 21, 2013

In different corners of the world, the members of the Arizona State diving team showcased their elite talent by qualifying for the top international diving competitions this weekend.

Senior Harrison Jones, who had qualified for the 2013 FINA World Championships on the 1-meter springboard on Friday, also qualified to compete on the platform and possibly the 3-meter. Head coach Mark Bradshaw was also named a coach for Team USA at the World Championship games. Download Full Image

“It’s exciting for me as a coach, because I competed in three World Championships [as a competitive diver],” said head coach Mark Bradshaw. “Other than the Olympic games, this is the highest level of competition you can reach, especially for Harry in particular, who has never made it to [World Championships] before.

Jones was the only diver in the USA Diving Trials, in Tallahassee, Fla., to dive in all three disciplines: 1-meter, 3-meter and platform. Jones finished third in the 3-meter could potentially fill a vacant spot for the United States in the event because only Olympic bronze medalist Kristian Ipsen met the total point requirement to qualify at the time of the trials. While Jones’ three-round score on the 3-meter was not high enough, his final round score of 508.80 was the top score of the day. 

“Harry just nailed every dive,” said Bradshaw. “It was a dive I had seen earlier in the season when he was on a roll. He actually beat Ipsen again and scored over 500 points, which is a rarity and doesn’t happen often.“

Bradshaw was selected to the coaching staff for Team USA for the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Bradshaw’s first Team USA coaching appointment after competing for the organization in the late 80's including the 1988 Seoul Korea Olympics. 

From Tallahassee to Puerto Rico, three-time Pac-12 3-meter Champion Constantin Blaha, representing Austria, qualified for the World University Games with his Bronze Medal finish in his specialty event at the Puerto Rico Grand Prix. Jones also qualified for the World University Games with his performance at the World Championship Trials.

“Coco was a post-eligibility guy who just graduated,” said Bradshaw. “He continued to train for the goal in mind and it was really rewarding to see him accomplish it. This was really his last opportunity.” 

“It was really such a special week with Coco qualifying and Harry competing the way he did. It was really just a tremendous week for myself and my athletes.”

Next week, current Sun Devil divers Hailey Casper, this season’s NCAA 3-meter runner-up, and Olympic finalist Riley McCormick will compete in Canadian Nationals for an opportunity to qualify for the World Championships as well. Casper will compete in the 3-meter and 3-meter Syncro, while McCormick, who is still nursing a thumb injury, will only compete in the 3-meter springboard.

Juno Schaser

Event coordinator, Biodesign Institute

480-965-0014

Benjamin earns ASU's conference-best 104th Pac-12 Player Of The Week honor


May 21, 2013

Arizona State University junior third baseman Michael Benjamin has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.

Benjamin batted .526 (10-for-19) with seven RBI, three doubles, a home run and three runs scored in four games this past week. HIs .842 slugging percentage and .526 on-base percentage played a large part in helping the Devils rack up 27 runs against Texas Tech and Arizona. Download Full Image

This is Benjamin's first career Pac-12 Player of the Week honor and Arizona State's Conference-leading 104th all-time selection. He is the fifth Sun Devil to earn honors this season and the third position player.

Benjamin recorded multiple hits in three of the four games, including a four-hit performance against Texas Tech. He has collected multiple hits in eight of his past nine games and now has 25 multiple-hit games this season, including a team-high eight with at least three hits.

He also went 2-for-5 with three RBI, including a solo home run, and scored a run in a 6-3 win over the Wildcats on Saturday. His three hits on Sunday against Arizona extended his hitting streak to nine games and he has recorded at least one RBI in seven of his past nine games after knocking in a pair on Sunday.

Benjamin ranks in the top seven in nearly every major hitting category in the conference. He leads the Pac-12 in slugging percentage (.588), hits (77) and total bases (127), and is third in both batting average (.370) and runs scored (54). He also ranks sixth in RBI (41), second in doubles (18), fourth in home runs (8) and seventh in triples (4).

He currently leads the team in batting average, slugging percentage, runs scored and total bases and could be the first Devil since Jason Kipnis in 2009 to lead the team in all four of those categories.

Pac-12 POW this season:
 Feb. 26 - Trever Allen, RS-So., OF
 March 12 - Trevor Williams, Jr., RHP
 March 26 - Ryan Kellogg, Fr., LHP
 April 8 - RJ Ybarra, Fr., C/DH
 May 20 - Michael Benjamin, Jr., 3B 

The Sun Devils close out their regular season home slate with a midweek conference matchup against BYU on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ASU then travels to Washington to finish the 2013 regular season with a three-game Pac-12 set Friday-Sunday. First pitch on Friday is at 5 p.m., while Saturday's begins at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m.

Season Ticket Renewal:
Season ticket holders can renew and/or pre order postseason tickets by calling their service representative at 480.965.5333 or visiting the Sun Devil Ticket Office at Sun Devil Stadium. The deadline to retain your seats and receive the best possible price is Saturday, June 22. Meeting the renewal deadline will also ensure you receive priority when selecting seats at the new Phoenix Municipal Stadium in 2015.

Baseball Awards Banquet:
Attend the Baseball Awards Banquet on Tuesday, May 28, at the Fiesta Resort in Tempe. Tickets are $55 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under, or buy a table for 10 people for $550. Fans can also sponsor a dinner for $55 or sponsor an award for $250.

Juno Schaser

Event coordinator, Biodesign Institute

480-965-0014