First eight divers named to 2022 FINA World Junior Championships team
by USA Diving
Four more junior national titles were awarded and the first spots on the 2022 World Junior Championships team were determined Sunday at the 2022 USA Diving Junior National Championships at COM Aquatics in Midland, Texas.
Josh Hedberg (Indiana International School of Diving), Anna Lemkin (Stanford Diving), Max Weinrich (Dominion Dive Club) and Lily Witte (Wolverine Diving) all won junior national titles, with Hedberg, Lemkin and Witte also punching their tickets to the 2022 FINA World Junior Championships. Five other divers also qualified for junior worlds on Sunday.
Hedberg, who earlier this summer was a finalist on 10-meter at the FINA World Championships, dominated the boys’ 14-15 platform competition to win his sixth junior national title and third on platform. Hedberg scored 524.25 points to win the title by nearly 125 points. He scored 88 points or higher on three of his four dives in the final, including 89.10 points on a back 3 ½ somersaults tuck that scored 9.0s from five judges.
“I felt pretty good. I was just trying to do my best and do my dives how I know I can do them. I came out with the gold, so I’m pretty happy about that,” Hedberg said.
Nathaniel Grannis (Dominion Dive Club) scored 390.70 points to finish second behind Hedberg to also earn a spot on the Junior World team. Jasper Nemeth (Los Angeles Dive Club) scored 371.00 points for bronze.
Lemkin took first on 3-meter in the girls’ 14-15 age group. She scored 418.45 points to win her first junior national title since 2018, when she swept the 11-and-under age group. Molly Gray, Lemkin’s Stanford Diving teammate, will join Lemkin on the junior world team after scoring 398.15 points for silver. Juliet Radich (Coral Springs Diving) earned the bronze with 387.75 points.
Weinrich scored 572.30 points to win the 16-18 boys’ 1-meter title, but because he turns 19 before the end of the year, he is ineligible for Junior Worlds. Instead, the U.S. will be represented by two other divers named Max at Junior Worlds, with Maxwell Miller (Woodlands Diving Academy) and Max Fowler (Alexandria Dive Club) earning spots on the team. Miller scored 562.40 points for the 1-meter silver, while Fowler took bronze with 551.20 points.
Witte won the 16-18 girls’ 1-meter title to pick up her sixth career junior national title and fourth on 1-meter. She scored 456.05 points to win the national title and qualify for junior worlds.
“It feels really awesome. This year especially, I just had fun,” Witte said. “Other years, I’ve been really stressed, but this year I just had fun. It was awesome.”
Ellie Joyce (Dominion Dive Club) also qualified for junior worlds with a second-place score of 447.15 points. Katerina Hoffman (Knight Diving Academy) won the bronze medal with 257.95 points.
The 2022 Junior National Championships continue through Tuesday, August 2. Monday’s competition features 14-15 girls on 1-meter, 14-15 boys on 3-meter, 16-18 boys on 3-meter and 16-18 girls on platform.