February 5, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Brittany Viola (Orlando, Fla./Miami, Fla.) and Harrison Jones(Spring, Texas/ Los Angeles, Calif.) won their first national titles with victories on women’s 10-meter and men’s 3-meter Saturday at the USA Diving Winter National Championships, and Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif./ Austin, Texas) and Kristian Ipsen(Clayton, Calif.) won the men’s synchronized 3-meter title in record-setting fashion.
Viola scored 357.70 points to win her first national title in a meet she was just happy to be competing in.
“This was a little unexpected. I’ve been recovering from two surgeries, so I was just excited to be here,” said Viola, who was competing on platform for the first time since the 2009 World Championships. “It was pretty awesome to be back up there. This puts me one step closer to the Olympics, which has been my goal since I was 8 years old.”
Katie Bell (Columbus, Ohio) edged Anna James (Midland, Texas) for the silver medal, 347.35-346.10. Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Indianapolis, Ind.) finished fourth with 333.65 points.
In the closest contest of the championships, Jones edged Ipsen by five-hundredths of a points, 479.90-479.85. Ipsen led after four rounds but opened the door in the fifth round when he earned 5s and 6s on his reverse 3 ½ while Jones earned 9s and 9.5s on his front 2 ½ with a twist.
Jones entered the final round with an 11.95-point lead over Ipsen and earned 78.20 points on his final dive with Ipsen still to go. Ipsen scored as high as 9.5 from three judges for 90.10 points, but came up just shy of Jones’ total.
“I thought he might have gotten me. I looked up at the scoreboard, saw it was .05 and was blown away,” Jones said. “This is a huge step for me. This is fantastic. I’m just ecstatic.”
Dumais finished third at 474.70, and Aaron Fleshner (Spring, Texas/Tuscaloosa, Ala.) scored 435.15 for fourth, highlighted by a reverse 3 ½ pike that scored as high 9.0.
Dumais and Ipsen then came back to set an American record with 450.54 points in the 3-meter synchro final. They scored more than 80 points on all four optional dives.
“I’m really excited. In the individual event, I was uptight and nervous. I gathered myself for synchro and tried to stay relaxed because I knew I could do these dives,” Ipsen said.
David Bonuchi (Columbia, Mo.) and Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass.) were second at 419.70, and Fleshner and Chris Heaton (Centreville, Ohio/ Indianapolis, Ind.) were third at 383.82. Ipsen/Dumais and Bonuchi/Hixon also earned the opportunity to compete at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix in May, and Fleshner/Heaton were selected to the Canada Cup team.
In the two individual events, the four divers with the highest cumulative scores from the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals who also meet the degree of difficulty requirements will be named to the AT&T Grand Prix team and go on to phase two of the selection process for the 2011 World Championships team.
The top four based on cumulative scores on 10-meter were Viola, Parratto, Bell and James. The top four on 3-meter were Ipsen, Dumais, Jones and Drew Livingston (The Woodlands, Texas/Austin, Texas).
The USA Diving Winter National Championships conclude Sunday, February 6 with men’s 10-meter semifinals at 10 a.m. Finals begin at noon and feature women’s 3-meter, women’s synchronized 10-meter and men’s 10-meter.