USC redshirt junior Haley Ishimatsu was named the Pac-12 Women’s Diver of the Year today at the annual Pac-12 Conference meeting. Voters for the award consisted of the conference’s diving coaches.
Ishimatsu claimed her second consecutive national platform title at the NCAA Championships last week in Minneapolis after taking home the same crown for the second year in a row at the Pac-12 championships in Federal Way, Wash. at the beginning of the month. She also set a Pac-12 record and earned All-American honors in 1-meter diving. Ishimatsu now has three Pac-12 individual titles and two platform NCAA Championships.
The Seal Beach, Calif. native is a transfer from Duke, where she spent her freshman season in 2011. With the Blue Devils, Ishimatsu set an ACC platform diving record on her way to a conference title and All-ACC honors.
Ishimatsu battled injuries in the spring and summer of 2012, redshirting that season at USC, but still managed to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games by placing fourth in platform at the U.S. Olympic Trials. In 2013, her first season competing for the Women of Troy, Ishimatsu claimed the platform NCAA title by an incredible 68.15 points.
This season, Ishimatsu has set the pace for the Women of Troy in all three individual diving events: 1-meter, 3-meter and platform.
In January, Ishimatsu swept the platform events at the rival UCLA 2014 Bruin Diving Invite. She won the event with 650.45 points, dominating the field. Ishimatsu is the first woman to win the platform championship two years in a row since the ’92-’93 season, when Eileen Richetelli of Stanford took home her second straight trophy.
Ishimatsu is taking after her sister, Victoria Ishimatsu, who claimed four consecutive Pac-12 Diver of the Year awards from 2009-2012.
The younger Ishimatsu still has a season left with USC to win even more championships for the team and USC’s head diving coach, Hongping Li.
Li also received the highest honor in the Pac-12 by being named the conference’s Diving Coach of the Year. This is Li’s sixth straight conference honor, and the 11th of his career. Since Li joined USC’s program in 1999, he has won eight NCAA championships between both men’s and women’s diving. The Beijing native was a two-time Olympian and a 12-time national champion for his home country.