Courtesy: USA Diving
INDIANAPOLIS – Briadam Herrera (Miami, Fla.) won his fourth national title on 1-meter and Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minneapolis, Minn.) won her second on that same event with victories Wednesday at the USA Diving Senior National Championships.
Both divers also earned the opportunity to represent the United States on 1-meter at the FINA World Championships in July. Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Bloomington, Ind.) and Maria Coburn (Austin, Texas/Tucson, Ariz.) won silver on 1-meter and qualified for the World Championships team as well.
Herrera scored 427.35 to edge Hixon by 4.35 points for the men’s 1-meter gold. Grayson Campbell (Vienna, Va./Austin, Texas) was third at 372.70.
Herrera and Hixon also had the two highest cumulative scores from preliminaries and finals to earn the opportunity to represent the United States at the World Championships. Herrera edged Hixon by 1.15 in the prelims to finish with 845.00 points over two lists.
Herrera, who previously won national titles on 1-meter in 2015, 2017 and 2018, had the highest degree of difficulty of any diver in the field and led the entire contest. His front 3 ½ pike earned 80.85 points for the highest scoring dive in the final, and he added 72 points or higher on three other dives.
“This one’s a little more special because I qualified for the World Championships and I was competing against Mike, who’s really good on 1-meter as well. I was very excited for the event. I can do the harder dives on 1-meter, so that gives me a little bit of an advantage over the others. I had the energy, and I knew I had to be sharp because Michael was going to bring it,” Herrera said.
In the women’s event, Bacon scored 299.10 points for gold. Coburn was second at 295.40, and Brooke Schultz (Fayetteville, Ark.) took third with 282.20 points.
Bacon, who also won a 1-meter title in 2014, scored 61.20 points or higher on her last three dives. She trailed Coburn by 1.5 points heading into the last round of the final before securing the victory with 65 points on a front 2 ½ pike.
“I just wanted to go out there and hit every dive for 7.5 or better and I seemed to do that. Overall the performance today was good, and hopefully I can improve from here to worlds,” Bacon said.
Bacon hadn’t competed on 1-meter at a U.S. nationals since the 2014 USA Diving Winter National Championships, but won NCAA titles on the event for the University of Minnesota in 2018 and 2019.
“Being able to qualify for worlds on 1-meter had a lot to do with diving the event. I’ve been performing well on 1-meter the last two years, so (coach Wenbo Chen) decided, ‘Why not give it a shot and jump in there and dive.’”
Coburn was in sixth place after three rounds but took the lead when she scored 75 points on her reverse 2 ½ tuck in round four. She ended up second in the final standings after closing out her list with 59.80 points on a front 2 ½ pike.
Bacon also won the preliminary and qualified for worlds with 593.15 points over her two lists. Coburn was sixth in the preliminary, but her performance in the final gave her 554.35 points over her two lists. She edged out Schultz by 0.45 points for the second spot on the World Championships team.
The USA Diving Senior National Championships continue through May 26. Thursday’s competition features preliminaries and semifinals in men’s 3-meter and women’s 10-meter. The 2019 USA Diving Senior National Championships is part of the 2019 Team USA Champions Series, presented by Xfinity. The champions series showcases numerous Olympic sports throughout the year, highlighting the year-round quest of Team USA athletes to compete at the Olympic Games.