MINNEAPOLIS - On a historic night for Purdue diving, David Boudia, Danny Cox and J.P. Perez all earned All-American honors by qualifying for the platform finals Saturday, Boudia finishing as the runner-up in his bid to sweep the three events at the NCAA Championships.
Boudia (479.10 points) took second, Cox (376.60) sixth and Perez (371.95) seventh in their final collegiate diving events. Duke's Nick McCrory (548.90) repeated as the platform diving champion, denying Boudia the historic first-ever sweep of the three diving events in the same meet for the second year in a row. McCrory, who has partnered with Boudia in synchronized platform, was extremely consistent in the finals, scoring no lower than 79.5 points on any of his six dives and breaking his own meet-record score from 2010.
Meanwhile, Boudia was unable to overcome a poor third dive that earned him only 46.80 points. McCrory also posted two scores in the 100s while Boudia's highest was 91.80 (twice).
Boudia was named the Diver of the Championships and Adam Soldati was also recognized as the Diving Coach of the Championships. It marked the third consecutive year that both men won the awards from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.
The Boilermakers finished 16th in the team scoring competition with 88 points earned by the divers. California (493 points) won the 2011 NCAA national championship.
Never before in program history had three Purdue divers qualified for the finals of an event at the NCAA Championships. The Boilermakers were the only team at this year's meet to accomplish the feat, which is also believed to be an extremely rare showing in NCAA history.
"Tonight was one of my most proudest moments at Purdue," 26th-year head coach Dan Ross said. "To see those three guys in the last competition and on the awards podium for the Old Gold and Black tonight was simply awesome!"
Expected to forego his final season of collegiate eligibility to focus on training for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Boudia closed his collegiate career with six national titles, one shy of Troy Dumais' collegiate record. He won two of the three diving events at the 2009, 2010 and 2011 NCAA Championships.
McCrory finished second to Boudia in the afternoon preliminaries. The preliminary winner did not emerge victorious in the finals of all three diving events this week. McCrory scored 125.45 more points on his six-dive list in the finals than he did in the preliminaries. That was more than enough to offset Boudia's modest 12.25-point improvement from the prelims to finals.
The finishes for Cox and Perez in Saturday's platform were the best of their careers. Cox scored 79.20 on his final dive of the night, a back 1 ½ somersault 3 ½ twist free (5237 D). That was the same dive that clinched the senior a spot in the finals, thanks to an award of the 72.60 in the afternoon.
Perez was consistent through his six-dive list in the prelims, posting scores above 60 on all but his final dive. He had earned an award of 72.00, his best of the prelims, on his fifth dive (a forward 3 ½ somersault pike, 107 B) to compensate for a lower score on his final plunge. He again earned a round-high score of 72 on his 107 B dive in the finals.
Purdue Competitors in Platform Diving at NCAA Championships David Boudia, 479.10 (466.85 prelims) - Finished second
Danny Cox, 376.60 (376.60 prelims) - Finished sixth
J.P. Perez, 371.95 (381.80 prelims) - Finished seventh