Briadam Herrera. Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos
Briadam Herrera (Miami, Fla.) and Alison Gibson (Austin, Texas) claimed the 1-meter titles Monday at the USA Diving Senior National Championships. final, Herrera scored 402.95 points to win by 56.85 points and claim his third overall and second consecutive 1-meter title at the national level. Herrera also won the 2017 USA Diving Winter National Championships in December.
Conor Casey (Annadale, Va.) scored 346.10 points for second, edging bronze medalist Jacob Cornish (Honolulu/Austin, Texas) by eight-tenths of a point.
Herrera capitalized on his degree of difficulty, which was the highest of any diver in the field. His most successful dive came in the third round with a front 3 ½ pike scoring 77.55 points.
“My front 3 ½ pike felt pretty good,” Herrera said. “I always try to do the hardest dives I can. I’m pretty short, and it’s easy for me to do all these dives. I have a little bit of an advantage over the taller guys.”
Gibson secured the women’s title with 266.20 points after also winning the 1-meter title at nationals in 2017. After sitting in fourth place after the first round, Gibson was able to build momentum in the second round with a front 2 ½ pike, which landed her 62.40 points and moved her into first place.
Gibson maintained the lead through the rest of the competition and ended the day with her favorite dive, a forward 1 ½ somersault with two twists.
“I really liked my last dive, the double-twister,” Gibson said. “It’s one of my favorite dives. I absolutely love doing it and it’s a dive I can really rely on. I always love competing with that one. I can just go out confidently and have a lot of fun with it.”
Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas) finished second with 253.40 points, and Emily Bretscher (Knoxville, Tenn./West Lafayette, Ind.) picked up the bronze medal with 236.60 points.
The USA Diving Senior National Championships continue through Sunday, May 20. Tuesday’s competition features preliminaries and semifinals in women’s 10-meter and men’s 3-meter.
The first four spots on the 2018 FINA World Cup team were determined Sunday at the USA Diving Senior National Championships when national titles were awarded in mixed synchronized events at SMU’s Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center.
2016 Olympian Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Tallahassee, Fla.) and Zach Cooper (Greenwood, Ind./Miami, Fla.) secured the mixed 10-meter synchro title by less than a point, and Grayson Campbell (Vienna, Va./Austin, Texas) and Maria Coburn (Round Rock, Texas) won the mixed 3-meter synchro title.
Their wins earned them a trip to Wuhan, China for the FINA World Cup, the top international competition of the 2018 season. The World Cup is set for June 5-10.
Young and Cooper scored 293.76 points to edge Tarrin Gilliland (Liberty Hill, Texas/Midland, Texas) and Andrew Capobianco (Holly Springs, N.C./Bloomington, Ind.) by just .72 points for the national title and spot on the World Cup team. The two teams were neck and neck through three rounds, with Cooper and Young leading by 3.60 points with two rounds to go. They widened their lead with 73.92 points on an inward 3 ½ tuck in round four, with Gilliland and Capobianco scoring 63.36 points on that same dive.
Capobianco and Gilliland put the pressure on in round five when they performed a back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists that earned 79.68 points to close the gap. Cooper and Young were to do the same dive and needed to score 65.53 to secure the victory. They came through with 66.24 points, enough to hold their lead and pick up the win.
Young will be making her second trip to China this year, having competed at a FINA World Series meet in Beijing this spring.
“I feel very excited and ready to dive with Zach again, and to have a blast competing together. I’m looking forward to it,” Young said.
Cooper will be headed to his first major world meet at the senior level.
“I’ve had a lot of fun with (Katrina). We came here and had a lot of fun and did what we do best: dive,” Cooper said. “This is my first World Cup team, so I’m super excited to be a part of it and experience it all.”
Campbell was diving with two partners in the mixed 3-meter synchro event, and he finished in both first and second place. He and Coburn scored 288.78 points for the national title, while he and Krysta Palmer (Carson City, Nev./Reno, Nev.) posted a score of 281.34 points for second.
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