Two Synchro Titles Awarded on Day One of 2022 Winter Nationals
by USA Diving
MORGANTOWN, W.V. – Olympian Kassidy Cook (The Woodlands, Texas) won her 11th senior national title while a pair of teenagers claimed their first titles on the opening day of the 2022 USA Diving Winter National Championships at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park.
Cook and Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minneapolis, Minn.) teamed up to claim the women’s synchronized 3-meter national title, and Joshua Hedberg (Noblesville, Ind.) and Tyler Wills (Carmel, Ind.) took the men’s synchronized 10-meter win.
Cook and Bacon, competing together for the first time since the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, scored 579.15 points over two lists of dives to pick up their second national title together. The duo also won the event at the 2019 USA Diving Winter National Championships. It was Cook’s 11th career national title and Bacon’s fourth.
“It was a pretty fun experience. We hadn’t dove with each other since the Olympic Trials. I’d taken a pretty long break. We just wanted to go out and have fun today and get our feet wet again, no pun intended,” Cook said. “I’m really thrilled. I wasn’t coming in here with a results focus. To come out on top, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Bacon won a silver medal on 1-meter and placed fifth on 3-meter individually at the World Championships this summer but was looking forward to getting back together with her synchro partner.
“I love doing individual, don’t get me wrong, but I really missed doing synchro, especially with Kassidy. It was really fun getting back together, and I thought we did really well for our first time back,” Bacon said. “We’d only practiced together a couple times before this, so we really just wanted to come out and have fun. Getting a win was awesome.”
Cook and Bacon put forth a consistent effort with 65.70 points on an inward 2 ½ pike and 67.50 points on a front 2 ½ with a twist in the finals. They scored more than 60 points on those same two dives in the morning preliminaries.
Anne Fowler (Burke, Va./Bloomington, Ind.) and Carolina Sculti (Rye, N.Y./Los Angeles) scored 506.19 points to take home the silver medal, and Samantha Pickens (Murrysville, Pa./Midland, Texas) and Mackenzie Crawford (Milan, Mich./Columbus, Ohio) scored 497.70 points for bronze.
Hedberg, 15, and Wills, 17, scored 732.51 points over two lists of dives to win the synchronized 10-meter title, the first senior national title for both divers. They won the synchronized platform bronze at the World Junior Diving Championships in Montreal two weeks ago.
“After junior worlds, we were pretty ramped up to go to another competition. It’s what we’ve been working hard for,” Hedberg said “We’ve only been training synchro for about three months. It feels really good.”
“It was pretty fun honestly. I love competing. We had a good time and did some good dives,” Wills said.
Max Flory (Fairfax, Va./MiamI, Fla.) and Zach Cooper (Greenwood, Ind./Miami, Fla.) scored 703.71 points for silver, and Aidan Wang (North Potomac, Md.) and Sam Oelerich (Winnetka, Ill.) took bronze at 592.62.
The 2022 USA Diving Winter National Championships continue through Sunday, December 18. Thursday’s competition features men’s synchronized 3-meter preliminaries at 10 a.m., with the final set for 4 p.m.