Four more spots on the 2012 US Olympic Diving Team were handed out on Sunday, with three new athletes stamping their tickets to London: Brittany Viola and Katherine Bell in the women’s platform and Christopher Colwill and Troy Dumais on the men’s 3-meter.
Headed into the finals of the women’s platform event, Viola and Bell sat first-and-second in the standings. That would prove to be huge for them, as both divers really fell-apart at one-point or another in the Sunday session. Viola was fortunately spectacular through three rounds of the evening session, before stumbling on her 4th dive, and then putting up only a 43-point dive in the 5th round, recording scores as low as 4.0.
But she bounced back and had the biggest score in the 6th-and-final round of the competition, a Back 2 1/2 Somersault 1 1/2 Twist Pike, grabbing 8’s and 8.5’s to seal the victory. For a diver who is a two-time NCAA Champion, and a two-time World Championship qualifier (including as an American Team Captain in 2009), she will now be making her first Olympic appearance. She follows in the athletic footsteps of her father Frank, who is a former All-Star pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.
The men’s 3-meter came down to a fantastic three-way finish at a meet where the events are rarely close, with Christopher Colwill, Troy Dumais, and Kristian Ipsen being separated by only 11 points at the final tally.
Ultimately, it was Colwill, who came through with a massive 99-point dive in the final round with two 9.0’s and five 9.5’s, who pulled away for the victory, followed by Dumais. Their final scores were 1457.45 and 1448.35, respectively.
This means that the Americans will reset their lineup in this 3-meter exactly as it was in Beijing, with Colwill making his second appearance and Dumais tying for his record 4th-straight games. They will be hoping for better results this time around than the last, where they finished 12th and 6th, respectively.
Dumais out-dueled his much younger teammate Kristian Ipsen. That will be the pair on the men’s 3-meter synchro for the US, but Ipsen threw away a golden opportunity in the 5th round. The Stanford Cardinal diver had roughly a 34-point lead with two dives to go, and had to be feeling confident, but he gave up 35 to Dumais to put himself in a 1.25-point deficit. On the last dive, they had identical 91.80’s, which gave Dumais the second entry. That shows the difference between an athlete going into his 4th games and one going into his 1st – consistency.