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Olivia Rosendahl, Greg Duncan Earn Titles At USA Diving National Championships

By Paul Batterson | Aug. 12, 2017, 12:16 a.m. (ET)

Olivia Rosendahl competes in the women's 10-meter platform final at the 2017 USA Diving National Championships on Aug. 11, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio.


After winning the NCAA women’s 10-meter diving title for Northwestern University last March, Olivia Rosendahl took a few weeks off from diving to work with underprivileged children in Vietnam. Rosendahl returned to diving refreshed and refocused, capturing the senior women’s 10-meter title at the USA Diving National Championships at the McCorkle Aquatics Center in Columbus, Ohio.

“For me this is just really special,” said Rosendahl, who scored 319.5 points to finish ahead of Olympian Laura Wilkinson (296.25) and Johanna Holloway (287.7). “The college season was really long so I needed some time off. (Working overseas) is something I want to do in the future, so it was a good thing for me to do.

“I learned so much about myself. I didn’t think I’d be a good teacher. It was my first time being a leader in front of a bunch of younger kids. I learned so much about Vietnam and the culture there, myself and what I want to do in the future.”

The USA Diving National Championships is part of the 2017 Team USA Summer Champions Series, presented by Comcast. The Champions Series showcases numerous Olympic sports throughout the season, highlighting the year-round quest of Team USA athletes to compete at the Olympic Games.

In the finals of the platform diving, Rosendahl gave everyone a glimpse of what might be in her future. She scored a 71.4 on her final dive, a reverse two-and-a-half somersaults tuck to get past Wilkinson.

Rosendahl said getting past her third dive was the key to her performance. The Wildcats diver scored 48.0 on an inward 3½ somersault.

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“My first two dives are usually my hardest, but that third dive is a hit or miss dive with me,” she said with a laugh. “As long as I get that on out of my head, I seem to do okay. After I got that one out of the way, I thought ‘Now I just have to land on my head on the next two.’”

Rosendahl grew up watching Wilkinson compete in the Olympics, so competing against Wilkinson, who captured the gold at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 and was a competitor in 2004 and 2008 Games, was an amazing thrill.

“Laura is like my role model,” Rosenthal said. “My first Olympic trials (in 2012) were the one right after she retired, so I never got to dive with her or anything. When I was little, I kept hoping someday I could dive like her.”

Greg Duncan competes in the men's 3-meter springboard semifinal at the 2017 USA Diving National Championships on Aug. 9, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio.

To win the senior men’s 3-meter springboard title, Greg Duncan had to put a disappointing finish in the same event in the boys’ 16-18 junior open behind him. After taking third in the junior open six days before, Duncan nailed a forward 2½ somersault with two twists to slip past Jordan Windle by 9.95 points and win the senior men’s title.

“It’s just crazy. You put all these hours in and all the training. You have to let your body take over and not let your head get in the way,” said Duncan who scored 76.5 on his final dive to finish with 415.6 points to finish ahead of Windle (405.65) and Joseph Cifelli (402.6). “Getting a third place was not the ideal situation. I wanted to do the best I could but I didn’t perform up to my best. 

“I knew (the senior open) was my last event here so I might as well go into it relaxed. I had a week more of preparation between then and now so that probably helped.”

The Oakton, Virginia. diver, who will compete for the University of North Carolina this fall, came into the meet after placing third with 614.2 points behind Windle (708.9) and Joshua Davidson (628.05) in the 16-18 junior open. He knew exactly where he stood going into the final.

“I knew that I needed a really good dive to finish well,” said Duncan, who has been working on that dive for the last year and a half. “I put it last in my rotation in practice and in competitive meets to train for pressure spots like this.

“Getting a balanced takeoff is probably the hardest part. The flips and twists are in the dive obviously but it all comes down to how you take off.”

The national meet concludes Saturday with the men’s platform diving at 9 a.m. and the women’s 3-meter springboard championships at 11 a.m.

Paul Batterson is sportswriter from Columbus, Ohio. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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