AUSTIN, Texas – Four divers earned the opportunity to represent the United States in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games qualifier after winning events at USA Diving's selection trials on Monday.
Dashiell Enos (Studio City, Calif.) and Gracia Leydon Mahoney (Newton, Mass.) won 3-meter springboard events to advance to the qualifier, while David Dinsmore (New Albany, Ohio) and Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz.) won on 10-meter platform. The four will head to Guadalajara, Mexico for the Youth Olympic Games qualifier that will take place February 28-March 2, 2014. The Youth Olympic Games will be held in Nanjing, China in August. Divers born in 1996, 1997 and 1998 are eligible to compete.
Dinsmore scored 557.15 points to win the boys 10-meter event. The 2012 junior world bronze medalist on platform competed two new dives in Monday's contest, and one ended up being his best dive of the night. He scored 91.80 points, earning three 9s and two 9.5s, on his reverse 3 ½ tuck. He also competed a back armstand double with 2 ½ twists for the first time and scored 73.80 points on the dive, the most difficult one on his list.
"I was very happy with how today went. On the reverse, I just needed to make sure I was confident throughout the whole dive to make sure it went well," Dinsmore said. "I'm excited to go to Guadalajara. This only happens once every four years, and I think it's pretty cool because only a certain number of people get to do this each time. Only four people were selected to represent the United States at the qualifier."
Enos, who took second behind Dinsmore on 10-meter, won the boys 3-meter contest with 565.20 points. He led after five rounds of voluntaries and then scored 63 points or higher on all five optional dives, highlighted by 72.85 points on his front 3 ½ pike and 72 points on his back 2 ½ pike.
"During the competition it actually didn't feel like a competition to me. I felt like I was just doing my dives for my coach like it was a practice. I looked at him before every dive and made a connection, and that gave me the confidence to do my dives like I normally would. I took it one dive at a time and focused on my two corrections and just let the meet go how it did," Enos said.
Schnell finished first in the girls 10-meter contest with 403.55 points, highlighted by 78.40 points on her final dive, a back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists. Her armstand front somersault pike earned a 10 from one judge, and she earned 9s on two other voluntary dives. Schnell, who finished second on 3-meter earlier in the day, said she was surprised with her finish.
"I wasn't expecting this. I just wanted to try it and come here to dive and just see what would happen," Schnell said. "I was a little tired (on 10-meter) because I had already done another event. As I started to get going, I got more confident and more relaxed. I was still tired, but I worked through it and kept going."
Leydon Mahoney scored 464.80 points to pick up the win in girls 3-meter. She was 1.10 points behind Schnell with two rounds to go but took the lead after round eight after scoring 70 points on a reverse 2 ½ tuck that earned 8s and 8.5s from the judges. The 2012 junior world 3-meter champion closed out her list with 63 points on her front 2 ½ with one twist to maintain her lead over Schnell, who finished second with 437.90 points.
"I knew it was kind of close, but I just tried to stay within myself and do each dive the best I could. I got the result that I wanted, and I was happy after my reverse 2 ½ tuck because that's one of the dives I really like doing and it pushed me to the top. It means a lot to be representing my country. Being selected to go to the qualifier is an honor," Leydon Mahoney said.
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