Dec. 21, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas -- Highlighted by David Boudia's 17th national title, five Boilermakers were medalists on day five of USA Diving's Winter National Saturday.
Boudia won the 3-meter title in his first springboard competition at the national level since 2010, clinching a spot in the event at the 2014 FINA World Cup this summer.
Purdue's National Letter of Intent signees Steele Johnson and Anna James also performed well Saturday. Johnson teamed with David Dinsmore to win the synchronized 10-meter competition. Anna James finished as the runner-up in the women's individual 10-meter platform to also earn a spot in the FINA World Cup.
Four national titles were awarded Saturday at the USA Diving Winter National Championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Along with Boudia and the team of Johnson and Dinsmore, Samantha "Murphy" Bromberg won the women's 10-meter title. Deidre Freeman and Maren Taylor paired for the women's synchronized 3-meter title.
With their wins, Boudia and Bromberg qualified to represent the United States at the 2014 FINA World Cup, the top international meet next season. The top two individual finishers on 3-meter and 10-meter who also meet minimum score and degree of difficulty requirements are selected to the team. Nick McCrory won the silver on 3-meter, and Anna James was second on 10-meter to also earn spots on the World Cup team. Synchronized teams for the World Cup will be selected at a separate trial in April.
With his 3-meter victory, Boudia, the 2012 Olympic champion on 10-meter, won his 17th career national title and his first on 3-meter. He scored 1442.80 points over three lists of dives to edge McCrory, his Olympic 10-meter synchro partner, by 8.55 points for the gold. Four-time Olympian Troy Dumais was third 1325.20, and Sam Dorman was fourth at 1270.15.
"Three-meter is totally different than 10-meter. It's a totally different atmosphere and there are a lot more variables. It's exciting. I think this is perfect for my career to jumpstart it again and add a new challenge," Boudia said.
Boudia led by 31.35 points heading into the finals but saw his lead slip away midway through the contest. He opened the finals with 76.50 points on his first dive, but scored 69.75 and 61.20 points on his second and third dives. Meanwhile, McCrory scored more than 80 points on his first three dives, including an inward 3 1/2 tuck that earned 91.80 points in round three, allowing him to move ahead of Boudia halfway through the finals.
McCrory led by 11.95 points heading into the final round, but Boudia had the degree of difficulty advantage. McCrory scored 70.50 points on an inward 2 ½ pike, while Boudia reclaimed the lead with 91.0 points on his reverse 1 1/2 with 3 1/2 twists. Boudia scored 93.5 points on his fifth-round dive, a front 2 1/2 with 2 twists.
"At the start of a competition, divers sometimes make the mistake of trying to hit for 10s. That's what I was doing and towards the middle of the competition, I just had to say, `this is just a normal competition.' I just had to relax and do my normal dives. It went in my favor today," Boudia said.
Bromberg, who also won the 10-meter title at the 2013 AT&T National Diving Championships, scored 1015.50 points over her three lists. She led by 31.75 points after the semifinals and scored no lower than 67.20 on any dive in the finals, with her best score coming in round two with 74.25 points a back 3 1/2 tuck.
Bromberg represented the U.S. in synchronized 10-meter at the 2013 FINA World Championships and will compete individually in her first World Cup next summer.
"It was definitely a goal to make the World Cup team individually. It was nice to watch the individual women's tower at the World Championships this summer. It was cool because it made me want to be diving, and it gave me something to work towards. It's pretty cool to have made it to World Cup individually," Bromberg said.
James finished second with 984.90 points, and Jessica Parratto was third at 967.90, highlighted by a back 3 ½ tuck that earned 90.75 points and a 10 from one judge. Katrina Young scored 893.95 for fourth.
Taylor and Freeman, who both competed individually on 3-meter at the 2013 FINA World Championships, won their first national title together as a synchro team. The pair scored 618.00 points over two lists of dives, turning in nearly identical marks in the preliminaries and the finals (308.10). They scored 72.90 points on both their back and reverse 2 ½ pikes in the finals.
Matthews and Cabassol took silver with 579.54 points, and Alison Gibson and Delaney Schnell claimed bronze with 562.86 points.
Dinsmore and Johnson scored 823.77 to win their second national title together in synchronized 10-meter. They earned 92.08 points on a back 3 ½ tuck that received three 10s, three 9.5s and three 9s in the fourth round and added 86.40 points on a back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists in round six.
Toby Stanley and Mark Anderson scored 715.59 for silver, and Christopher Law and Sam Smith were third at 682.17.
The USA Diving Winter National Championships conclude Sunday, December 22 with finals in women's synchronized 10-meter, men's synchronized 3-meter, women's 3-meter and men's 10-meter.
-- Story by Jen Lowery, USA Diving