Franklin Regional grad competing for place on Olympic diving team

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PITTSBURGH —

The Olympic Diving Trials are being held this week in Seattle. Former Franklin Regional High School standout and current University of Arizona diver Samantha Pickens is hoping to win a spot on the United States Olympic team in the 3-Meter competition.

"I definitely think this is the starting point for me." Pickens said. "These trials, I think I'm going there for experience."

Pickens said she thought she would never compete in the 2012 Olympic trials and that the Olympic trials for the 2016 games in Rio were more realistic,  but her dream of diving in the trials has come a little earlier than she expected.

"I wouldn't be standing here had it not been growing up with the Pitt Aquatic Club and them teaching me the fundamentals and the basics." Pickens said.

The foundation that was put into place years ago has served Pickens well.

At Franklin Regional High School, she was a four time All-American and at the University of Arizona she's already become the school's record holder in points for 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. 

The trials maybe a big competition but Pickens said she believes she'll be ready.

 "I was a little bit stressed thinking, 'Oh my goodness. I'm going to Olympic trials.' but my coach told me this is just another meet," Pickens said. "I've been to numerous meets, so this is just another meet."

 Pickens may dive for the University of Arizona at Tucson but her heart belongs to Pittsburgh.

 "People say that I'm representing Tucson, but I'm from Pittsburgh." Pickens said "Pittsburgh is known for football and baseball and hockey, and it's just so great to know that there's a diver from Pittsburgh going to the Olympic trials."