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Olympic Diving Trials: Bryant/Johnston and Boudia/McCrory punch tickets to London
Courtesy USA Diving
The first of 14 berths to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London were handed out Thursday night inside the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Diving.
Kelci Bryant (Chatham, Ill.) and Abby Johnston (Upper Arlington, Ohio) came out ahead in a close women’s synchronized 3-meter contest, while David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind.) and Nick McCrory (Chapel Hill, N.C) dominated the men’s synchronized 10-meter event to earn spots on the U.S. Olympic Team.
Bryant, a 2008 Olympian, and Johnston won by the narrowest of margins, winning the women’s synchronized 3-meter contest with 956.40 points, just by .42 ahead of Christina Loukas (Riverwoods, Ill.) and Kassidy Cook (The Woodlands, Texas). In the men’s contest, Boudia, also a 2008 Olympian, and McCrory scored 1387.86 points to win by more than 180 points over Toby Stanley (Conway, Ark.) and Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind.), who finished with 1207.08 points.
“London was the main goal, but we have a lot of hard work to do in the next three to four weeks,” said Boudia, who also competed in Beijing in 2008.
Boudia and McCrory earned three 10s in the finals, receiving one 10 on their back dive pike and two on their inward 3 ½ tuck, earning 91.20 points on that dive. They scored 92.13 points on their front 4 ½ tuck, and scored more than 88 points on their other two optional dives in the finals.
“This has been my dream, and I’ve finally reached my lifelong goal,” McCrory said.
McCrory and Johnston train together at Duke University, and his training partner was also thrilled to make her first Olympic team.
“This is the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had,” said Johnston.
Scores at the Trials were cumulative, with lists from preliminaries, semifinals and finals all counting toward team selection. Bryant and Johnston had a 6.51-point lead heading into the finals, and although Loukas and Cook outperformed them on their final five dives, Bryant and Johnston’s scores from prelims and semifinals were enough to keep them atop the leaderboard at the end of the competition.
Heading into the final dive, Bryant and Johnston led by just 1.32 points. Loukas and Cook came up big with 78.30 points – the highest scoring dive by either team – on their front 2 ½ with a twist. Bryant and Johnston responded with 77.40 points on their back 2 ½ pike, enough to earn them the spot on the team.
Bryant made some adjustments during the competition to adapt to Johnston’s nerves.
“I knew Abby would be nervous and diving a little faster, so I made sure to dive faster,” said Bryant, also a 2008 Olympian.
Bryant said the pair will benefit from the television coverage that’s surrounded this week’s Trials. In 2008, synchro teams were chosen at a selection camp.
“It’s different this time around because it wasn’t on TV (in 2008). This will help us in London with all of the pressure,” Bryant said. “Getting up on the podium is what we’re looking to do.”
Two more spots on the U.S. Olympic team will be up for grabs on Friday, with the men’s synchronized 3-meter final on the schedule.
Synchronized Women 3m Springboard (Final)
1. Abby JOHNSTON, Duke Aquatics/ Kelci BRYANT, Minnesota Diving Academy, 956.40;2. Kassidy COOK, Woodlands Diving Academy/ Christina LOUKAS, Woodlands Diving Academy, 955.98;3. Summer ALLMAN, Legacy Diving/ Amanda BURKE, Mason Dive Academy, 806.10;4. Deidre FREEMAN, University of Iowa/ Veronica RYDZE, University of Iowa, 794.82;5. Bianca ALVAREZ, Ohio State University/ Carrie DRAGLAND, University of Miami, 774.30;6. Logan KLINE, H2okie Aquatics/ Gabriella AGOSTINO, Indiana University, 742.20;7. Eszter PRYOR, Ohio State Diving Club/ Rachel RUBADUE, Ohio State Diving Club, 740.88;8. Maren TAYLOR, The University of Texas/ Meghan HOUSTON, Longhorn Aquatics, 738.72
Synchronized Men Platform (Final)
1. Nick MCCRORY, Duke Aquatics/ David BOUDIA, Boiler Diving Academy, 1387.86;2. Toby STANLEY, Unattached/ Steele JOHNSON2, Unattached, 1207.08;3. Dashiell ENOS, Unattached/ Steele JOHNSON, Unattached, 1170.12;4. Ryan HAWKINS, H2okie Aquatics/ Logan SHINHOLSER, H2okie Aquatics, 1074.00;5. Mark MURDOCK, Unattached/ Dashiell ENOS2, Unattached, 1039.02;6. Zachary COOPER, Unattached/ Jordan WINDLE, Unattached, 1029.63;7. Christopher LAW, Alamo Area Aquatics Diving/ Samuel SMITH, Tennessee Diving, 938.55;8. Andrew CRAMER, Starz Diving Club/ Nicholas KLEIN, Tomahawk Diving Club, 923.01;