COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ariel Rittenhouse (Santa Cruz, Calif.) won the women’s 3-meter gold, while Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) took gold in men’s 10-meter as the USA Diving Winter National Championships came to a close Sunday. Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Bloomington, Ind.) won her second national title this week after pairing with Amy Cozad (Indianapolis, Ind./Bloomington, Ind.) for gold in women’s synchronized 10-meter. Cory Bowersox (Burke, Va./Austin, Texas) and Zac Nees (Hatfield, Pa./State College, Pa.) won the men’s synchronized 3-meter title.
Johnson scored 1333.75 points to successfully defend his 2013 title and win his fourth individual national title on 10-meter. He scored more than 80 points on each of his last four dives in the finals, including 86.95 points on his front 4 ½ tuck and 82.80 points on his back 2 ½ with 2 ½ twists, both relatively new dives for him.
“We didn’t come into this competition with a main goal of putting a bunch of points on the board or scoring well or winning any event. We came in with a goal of doing new events like 1-meter and 3-meter and doing new dives in all the events, especially on platform with the (4 ½ and the back 2 ½ with 2 ½ twists). We did those at the World Cup in synchro, but I didn’t do them individually because they weren’t good enough,” Johnson said. “Since this meet wasn’t a qualifying meet for me, we decided we’d get the experience of doing them in a high pressure situation just to see how they’d go and what we need to work on. I definitely think we’ve taken the right steps.”
Brandon Loschiavo (Huntington Beach, Calif.) scored 1259.85 points for the silver, and Jordan Windle (Morrisville, N.C.) finished third with 1251.00 points.
Rittenhouse scored 912.65 points over three lists of dives to take the individual 3-meter gold. Rittenhouse led heading into the finals but dropped to second place after missing her second-round reverse 2 ½ pike for just 22.50 points, allowing Laura Ryan (Elk River, Minn./Athens, Ga.) to overtake her in the standings. Rittenhouse regained the lead in round four with a 68.20-point front 3 1/2 pike to head into the last round with a 3.65-point advantage over Ryan. Ryan dove first and earned 57 points on her front 2 ½ pike with a twist, and Rittenhouse followed with 61.50 points on the same dive to secure the gold medal.
“On my second dive, my gainer, I was really far from the end of the board and on the side. That’s a really hard place to take off from, so I landed really short. I knew I had to do my next dives really well to make a comeback, so I just tried to forget about it and focus on my next dives. Luckily I was able to hit all of them and end up winning,” said Rittenhouse, who concluded the championships with three medals, having already won a 1-meter silver and a synchronized 3-meter bronze.
Ryan finished second with 904.50 points, while Abby Johnston (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Durham, N.C.) scored 902.40 points for bronze.
Parratto and Cozad paired together for 586.32 points to win the synchronized 10-meter title. It was their first national title together as a synchro team, although both had previously won synchro titles with other partners. They opened the finals by scoring more than 100 points on their two voluntaries and closed out their list with 74.88 points on their back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists.
“I’m glad our final list was a good list, especially on the last day. We were kind of tired, but we overcame that and did really well,” said Parratto, who won the individual 10-meter gold Saturday.
Murphy Bromberg (Bexley, Ohio/Austin, Texas) and Emma Ivory-Ganja (The Woodlands, Texas/Austin, Texas) were second with 542.28 points, while Gracia Leydon Mahoney (Newton, Mass./Stanford, Calif.) and Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Tallahassee, Fla.) scored 527.40for third.
Bowersox and Nees secured their second national title together after finishing with 814.17 points for the men’s 3-meter synchro title. They led by 24.42 points after Friday’s preliminaries and held onto the lead throughout the finals, aided in part by a front 4 ½ that scored 87.78 points.
“We’ve been training pretty well prior to coming here. I knew we had a pretty good opportunity to do some good stuff. Coming into today, we had a decent-sized lead over second place so I was trying really hard to not really think about that. I just tried to act like we were all starting over at zero and keep my composure,” Bowersox said.
Bradley Christensen (Southlake, Texas/Stanford, Calif.) and Bryce Klein (Southlake, Texas/Dallas, Texas) scored 787.56 to win the silver medal, while Sam Dorman (Tempe, Ariz./Coral Gables, Fla.) and Kristian Ipsen (Clayton, Calif./Stanford, Calif.) finished third at 783.27.
Longhorn Aquatics was the overall team champion and also won the men’s team title and the women’s team title. Rittenhouse received the women’s high point award, with Johnson taking the men’s high point award.