March 25, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS - In one of the closest final margins in event history, Purdue's David Boudia won his third consecutive 3-meter diving national championship title on his final dive on day two of the NCAA Championships Friday.
Boudia defeated Texas A&M's Grant Nel by only .95 of a point, 472.30 to 471.35. Both competitors scored over 90 on their final dives. Nel posted a 98.80 on his final dive moments before Boudia finished his list. The Purdue Olympian answered with an award of 91.80, sealing the victory with a forward 2 ½ somersault two twist pike (5154 B).
Boudia was able to emerge victorious thanks in part to a 99.75 on his third dive of the finals. That award came on a reverse 3 ½ somersault tuck (307 C). He earned one perfect 10 and no scores lower than nine on that dive. But he left the door open to the rest of the seven divers after scoring only 44.20 points on his fourth dive.
"Today's competition was a lot different from last night because it was so close," Boudia said. "After the third round I was so excited to hit that dive that I didn't really keep focus and it showed in round four. But coming back in round six knowing that I had to hit the dive to win was definitely a good challenge and I love rising up to the opportunity."
Boudia won his sixth career NCAA national title Friday and became only the fourth diver in history to win three consecutive 3-meter crowns. He has now swept the springboard events each of the last two seasons and is the 12th diver in NCAA history to win three straight titles on the same board.
Boudia will go for the unprecedented sweep of national championship titles from all three boards at Saturday's platform competition.
Earlier in the day, J.P. Perez finished third in the 3-meter diving consolation final. After finishing 13th in the preliminaries to qualify for the consolation round, Perez took 11th overall (third in consolation) to score team points and earn Honorable Mention All-American honors for the second time in his career at the NCAA Championships. He was 14th in the platform diving at the 2010 NCAAs.
Perez was consistent in the consolation final, scoring above 60 points in five of his six dives. He capped his list in the preliminaries with his highest-awarded dive of the day, earning a 70.50 on a forward 2 ½ somersault one twist pike (5152 B) to lockup a spot in the consolation finals.
Boudia closed the preliminary round with his second-best dive of the list, earning an award of 78.20 on a forward 2 ½ somersault two twist pike (5154 B) to assure himself of a place in the finals. He started strong with a pair of awards of 75 but failed to post scores above 60 in his third and fourth dives of his list. He will dive fifth of eight divers in the finals.
Danny Cox also competed for Purdue Friday afternoon but was unable to advance past the preliminaries. He'll dive again Saturday in the platform, traditionally his strongest event.
The platform diving preliminaries are set for 2:30 (EDT) Saturday afternoon.
Purdue Competitors, 3-Meter Diving at NCAA Championships
David Boudia, 472.30 (408.95 prelims) - Won event
J.P. Perez, 373.50 (370.20 prelims) - Finished 3rd in consolation final, 11th overall
Danny Cox, 319.65 prelims - Finished 27th in preliminaries