Lyle Yost Claims 1st Senior National Diving Title on 1M; Gibson Returns to Win Synchro 3M

by SwimSwam 0

December 03rd, 2023 Diving, National, News

Courtesy: USA Diving

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Alison Gibson and Lyle Yost won national titles on 1-meter as the 2023 USA Diving Winter National Championships continued Saturday at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.

Hailey Hernandez and Jack Ryan won the silver medals, with the top two divers punching tickets to represent the United States at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar in February.

Yost and Ryan put on a show in the men’s 1-meter contest, with Yost scoring 743.65 points over two lists of dives to capture his first senior national title. Ryan finished second at 723.65, and Noah Duperre was third with 682.75.

Yost and Ryan traded spots atop the leaderboard after every round in the final, with Ryan leading after rounds one, three and five. Yost held the top spot after rounds two, four and ultimately the final round.

But Ryan’s lead was a slim one heading into that final round, when he led Yost by a mere tenth of a point.

“Jack and I are good friends, and we kind of locked eyes across the pool and just smiled like, last one, best one. We knew it was going to come down to it, and I had to make him sweat a little bit,” Yost said.

Yost dove first and came through with 75.60 points on his front 2 ½ with two twists.

“I could tell that everything had come together. Any of the question marks on that dive, I went through and hit them all. I caught the hurdle, I twisted at the right time, I got my hands nice and flat on the water,” Yost said. “I was just pumped to know that I did that dive pretty much as well as I could hope to do it.”

That put the pressure on Ryan, who ended his list with 55.50 points on a reverse 1 ½ with 2 ½ twists.

“It feels great (to win the national title), but it feels even better to be heading back to worlds with Jack,” said Yost, who also represented the U.S. on the 1-meter event along with Ryan at the 2023 World Championships.

Gibson, a 2020 Olympian who decided to return to diving just a few months ago, continued her comeback with 510.45 points over two lists to win the women’s 1-meter gold. Hernandez scored 509.30 points for silver, with bronze going to Sophie Verzyl at 504.90.

Gibson won her second gold in two days after winning 3-meter synchro on Friday. Despite having a day of competition under her belt, she said Saturday’s competition was more stressful than the day before.

“It was a little nerve-wracking diving individual again. It’s one thing to do synchro with someone next to you, but being out there alone, I definitely felt the nerves a little bit,” Gibson said. “It was a good experience to just get out there, and I’m really excited for 3-meter now.”

The USA Diving Winter National Championships continue through December 6. Sunday’s competition features women’s 10-meter and men’s 3-meter preliminaries and semifinals.

Friday Recap

Olympian Alison Gibson competed for the first time in more than two years on Friday, when she won the women’s synchronized 3-meter title with Krysta Palmer at the 2023 USA Diving Winter National Championships.

In other action Friday, Joshua Hedberg and Carson Tyler competed together for the first time and won the men’s synchronized 10-meter title.

The wins qualified the two teams for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, where they will they look to qualify the United States for the 2024 Olympic Games in their synchro events.

Gibson and Palmer scored 582.24 points, highlighted by 75.48 points on their front 2 ½ with two twists in the final round, to win the 3-meter synchro national title in their first competition together since the Tokyo Olympic Games. Sarah Bacon and Kassidy Cook finished second at 567.84, and Anne Fowler and Carolina Sculti were third with 523.71 points.

The 2020 Olympic teammates got back together after Gibson did some reflecting this summer when several people told her she could consider a comeback.

“After summer nationals, people were like ‘hey, you should come back, we’d love to see you out there again’. At first, I laughed, like that’s hilarious,” Gibson said. “And then I was like, I don’t know. I started thinking about it and took time in silence by myself and thought maybe this is something I should pursue.”

After talking it through with a number of people, Gibson decided to give it another go. Friday’s competition was her first true competition since Tokyo.

“I’m back. I did a few small exhibition dual meets at (University of Texas) when the college divers were diving, but this is my first time in a real meet with real scoring and all the judging,” Gibson said. “It was really crazy, and I’m really glad I had Krysta by my side for it. It made it really fun. We got the band back together. I never thought it would happen. I really thought I was done.”

Palmer has also enjoyed getting back together with her Tokyo teammate the past few months.

“It’s been a really cool process coming back together. Everything has felt more natural. It just really shows through this competition how much chemistry we have. It’s such an exciting opportunity to be able to dive with her again,” Palmer said.

In men’s 10-meter synchro action, Hedberg and Tyler made their competitive debut with 825.21 points over two lists of dives to win the national title. Brandon Loschiavo and Jordan Rzepka took second at 771.45, and Sam Oelerich and Aidan Wang were third with 539.19 points.

“I was really happy with how we did considering we’ve only been a pair for about three months. I think we just kept being consistent, and it kind of reflected how we practice. That’s all you can ask for,” Tyler said.

Tyler and Hedberg scored more than 81 points on their last three dives in the final, including 85.47 on a front 4 ½ tuck and 85.32 on a back 2 ½ with 2 ½ twists.

“I’m very happy with how consistent we were throughout the event. It was definitely a great reflection of our training, and I’m really happy about that,” Hedberg said.

The USA Diving Winter National Championships continue through December 6.

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