Rzepka and Bacon Win Gold on Day Four of Winter Nationals
by USA Diving
MORGANTOWN, W.V. – Jordan Rzepka (Solon, Ohio/Purdue Diving) and Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Unattached) won men’s 10-meter and women’s 3-meter national titles Saturday at the 2022 USA Diving Winter National Championships at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park.
Rzepka came through with 100.70 points on his final dive to clinch the 10-meter title with 853.50 points over his two lists of dives. Joshua Hedberg (Noblesville, Ind./Indiana International School of Diving) scored 816.95 for silver, and Zachary Cooper (Greenwood, Ind./Unattached) finished with 804.45 points for bronze.
“I had one goal in mind tonight, and that was to take it one dive at a time. I usually get a little overwhelmed and think about dives I’m not doing at that moment. I feel like I did a good job with that tonight,” Rzepka said.
Rzepka was first after the preliminaries and maintained his lead through the first four rounds of the final, but Cooper narrowed the gap and scored 80 points or higher in rounds three, four and five to take over the top spot heading into the final round. Cooper then missed his last dive, while Rzepka nailed a front 2 ½ with three twists for 100.70 points to retake the lead and claim his first national title.
“I had a good feeling. It felt a little bit short, but when I came up and heard the cheers, I knew it was pretty solid,” Rzepka said of his final dive.
Bacon picked up her second national title of the week, having already won gold in synchronized 3-meter on Wednesday. In Saturday’s individual 3-meter contest, Bacon scored 579.60 points over two lists of dives to win her fifth career national title and first individually on 3-meter.
Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas/University of Texas), who won the 1-meter gold on Friday, finished second with 573.85 points on 3-meter. Carolina Sculti (Rye, N.Y./Unattached) scored 543.55 points for bronze.
Bacon was fourth after the morning preliminaries and took the lead in the third round of the finals, when she hit her reverse 2 ½ pike for 76.50 points. Hernandez regained the lead after round four, but Bacon came back with 70.50 points on a front 2 ½ with a twist in the final round to finish atop the standings. She was the only diver to score 70 points on any dive in the contest.
“I would have hoped to dive a little better in both the prelim and the final, but my coach Wenbo and I just wanted to come to this meet and relax and have fun diving,” Bacon said. “I haven’t competed since World Championships this summer so just getting back in the swing of things and being able to put down some solid dives in the final felt really good.”
The 2022 USA Diving Winter National Championships wrap up Sunday with preliminaries and finals for men’s 1-meter and women’s 10-meter.