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Olympic Diving Trials: Colwill wins nail-biter; Viola, Bell also qualify for London

Courtesy USA Diving

Three more divers punched their tickets to London on Sunday, the final day of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, with Brittany Viola (Orlando, Fla.) and Katie Bell (Columbus, Ohio) qualifying in women’s 10-meter and 2008 Olympian Chris Colwill winning a nail-biting men’s 3-meter contest. Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif.), who earlier in the week earned a 3-meter synchro spot, also earned an individual 3-meter berth.

Sunday's spots into the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London ended the eight-day run of the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials inside Federal Way's Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. (SEE PHOTOS)

In total, 11 divers earned berths to represent the United States in August during their stay in Federal Way. The U.S. dive team will include Bell, Viola, Colwill, Dumais, Ipsen, David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind.), Kelci Bryant (Chatham, Ill.), Abby Johnston (Upper Arlington, Ohio), Cassidy Krug (Coraopolis, Pa.), Christina Loukas (Riverwoods, Ill.), and Nick McCrory (Chapel Hill, N.C.).

Colwill finished with 1457.45 points Sunday during the 3-meter competition, while Dumais edged Ipsen for the second spot, 1448.35-1447.10. Just 2.4 points separated the top three heading into the final round after Ipsen missed his fifth-round dive. Ipsen had a comfortable lead after four rounds, sitting 25.15 points ahead of Colwill and 33.75 points ahead of Dumais, but got 4.5s on his reverse 3 ½ tuck for 4.5s on his fifth dive to drop to third and set up a down-to-the-wire finish.

In round six, Colwill dove first and nailed his reverse 3 ½ for 9s and 9.5s and 99.75 points. Dumais followed with 91.80 points on a front 2 ½ with 2 twists. Ipsen also earned 91.80 on his reverse 1 ½ with 3 ½ twists, not enough to edge Dumais for the second individual spot.

“The scoreboard’s pretty big, so it was hard to miss (seeing how close it was),” said Colwill, who’ll make his second trip to the Olympic Games. “I’m happy. I took it one dive at a time, and that took a lot of patience.”

Dumais knew the final had the potential to be a close contest, so he changed his list and adjusted the order he performed his dives.

“I was more worried about this meet than the Olympics. I moved my second dive to the end of my list because I wanted to end on a dive I knew I could hit,” Dumais said. “I knew I was going to have to get 9s and 9.5s.”

Although he missed out on the individual berth, Ipsen qualified for the Olympic team in synchronized 3-meter earlier in the week.

“It was a pretty intense contest. (The reverse 3 ½) is always a dive I’ve struggled with, but it’s getting better. I’m glad I ended strong. I knew it was going to come down to that last dive, and I thought I’d made it,” Ipsen said. “I’m trying to think of it as a blessing, because going into international meets, I get really nervous. Only doing synchro gives me just one thing to focus on. I’ll use this as a learning experience.”

Viola scored 1081.50 points to qualify for her first Olympics, and Bell finished with 1024.40 points to make her first Olympic team.

Viola received straight 9s on her armstand back double somersault with 1 ½ twists for 86.40 points in round two and solidified her spot on the team with 80 points on her final dive, a back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists.

“Mentally, I came into today starting from zero, just like everyone else. I just took it one dive at a time. It comes down to the platform and the diver,” Viola said.

Bell’s best dive in the finals was her reverse 2 ½ pike, which earned her 75.40 points in the second round. She scored 67.20 points on two other dives.

“This is unreal. I was nervous, and I knew that I needed to stay consistent and dive like I do in practice,” Bell said.

 

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