U.S. teams are set for synchro diving

Posted: June 23, 2012

Nick McCrory and David Boudia carried a 114.84-point lead into the 10-meter platform synchro final and won it easily, earning spots on the Olympic team at the U.S. trials late Thursday night in Federal Way, Wash.

In the women's 3-meter springboard synchro final, Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant had to fight to hold their lead before narrowly qualifying for London.

McCrory and Boudia totaled 1,387.66 points in the final, completing a wire-to-wire victory after having led the semifinal and preliminary rounds. McCrory, a Duke student, and Boudia, who attends Purdue, did the two toughest dives of the final, with none of the other seven teams attempting anything close to their degree of difficulty.

"We've got really high hopes for London," said McCrory, who will go head-to-head with Boudia in Saturday's individual platform final.

They earned three perfect 10s in the six-dive final, including two on their third dive, an inward 31/2 somersault that got one perfect mark for execution and another for synchronization.

McCrory and Boudia did a forward 41/2 somersaults that carried a 3.7 degree of difficulty and finished with a back 21/2 somersaults with 21/2 twists worth a 3.6 degree of difficulty.

Toby Stanley and Steele Johnson, who finished second at 1,207.08, knew they couldn't challenge the more experienced McCrory and Boudia, who dove together at last year's world championships in Shanghai.

Only the winning synchro teams earned berths in next month's London Games.

"Our name is out there now," Stanley said. "They'll be looking for us in 2016."

After the final, Boudia continued a tradition of passing his Olympic ring to McCrory, a first-time Olympian. Boudia will get another one from the U.S. Olympic Committee for making his second games.

In the women's final, Johnston, a Duke student whose previous biggest meet was last year's world championships, got her first trip to the Olympics, and Bryant got her second after a thrilling contest.

Johnston and Bryant totaled 956.40 points in the final, with scores having carried over from the semifinal and preliminary rounds earlier in the week. Kassidy Cook and 2008 Olympian Christina Loukas finished second with 955.98 despite outscoring the winners in every round of the final. Only the winning team goes to the Games.

Johnston and Bryant survived the tight final in which they never led by more than six points. Just two points separated them from Cook and Loukas over the final three dives.

Cook and Loukas included a tougher dive in their list than Johnston and Bryant. They totaled 67.89 points for a forward 31/2 somersault pike, which carries a 3.1 degree of difficulty. Johnston and Bryant's highest degree of difficulty was 3.0.

Cook was left in tears.

"We're devastated," Loukas said in a statement to USA Diving. "Kass and I fought to the end, and I'm happy we could put the pressure on them. They handled it well, and they deserve to go."

U.S. settles on women's 8. The United States' women's eight for the London Olympics will feature six members from the crew that won the same event at the Beijing Games.

Coxswain Mary Whipple and rowers Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Susan Francia, and Erin Cafaro will all be bidding for their second straight gold medal.

Also in the lineup announced Friday are Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, and Esther Lofgren. The crew heads to London defending a six-year unbeaten record and will be favored for the gold medal.

Logan and Cafaro have been racing in the women's pair this year, qualifying the boat for the Olympics at the first World Cup regatta. They declined the chance to row in the pair in London.

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