DALLAS -- David Dinsmore had a simple goal in the men’s 10-meter platform final at the 2018 USA Diving Senior National Championships in Dallas and that approach paid off Sunday with a title and a spot on the World Cup team.
The event was the second stop of the Team USA Summer Champions Series presented by Xfinity, which continues with national championships for track and field (June 21-24 in Des Moines, Iowa) and swimming (July 25-29 in Irvine, California).
Dinsmore finished with 423.40 points, just ahead of runner-up Brandon Loschiavo, whose total score was 415.25.
“I just really wanted to have a good competition today. I wanted to land on my head six times,” Dinsmore said. “I just thought about being consistent.”
Dinsmore’s top performance came on his third dive, when he scored a 91.80 on an armstand back two-somersault, 2 ½-twist free, a dive the Miami (Florida) redshirt sophomore feels quite comfortable doing.
“Armstand’s one of the dives that can be very good for me, so I just wanted to be confident when I went up there and it worked out,” Dinsmore said.
Dinsmore narrowly missed a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, finishing third at trials that year while the top two divers went to Rio.
A former mechanical engineering major, he recently switched to sports administration, but admits the parallels between his former major and diving continue to pay dividends.
“It was kind of cool because when I was learning some of my physics stuff, I was actually able to see how it works in diving,” Dinsmore said.
Loschiavo, a Purdue sophomore who earlier in the week won the 3-meter synchro title with Steele Johnson, delivered the top two scores of the final two rounds with an 83.25 on his forward 4 ½-somersault tuck and 75.60 on a back 2 ½-somersault, 2 ½-twist pike, a strong finish to a day that started with him not feeling well when he arrived at the pool.
“Coming into this morning for practice, I wasn’t feeling too good, but I was able to warm up, get half my list done. I’m just glad I was able to get through,” Loschiavo said. “We just kept pushing and we made it to the World Cup team. All we got to do is stay consistent there and do what we have to do.”
All five men in Sunday’s final compete collegiately with Dinsmore and third-place finisher Zach Cooper representing Miami, Loschiavo at Purdue, fourth place Jacob Cornish at University of Texas and fifth place Anton Hoherz a freshman at Iowa.
While the June 5-10 event in Wuhan, China, is Loschiavo’s first World Cup, Dinsmore will be making his second trip, having competed at the 2014 event, which was also held in China.
“Excited. My first World Cup was in China four years ago, so I’m looking forward to going back,” Dinsmore said. “It’s always a fantastic opportunity to represent Team USA and I can’t wait to see how it goes.”
Hailey Hernandez Surprises With First 3-meter National Title
Competing close to home, 15-year-old Hailey Hernandez never expected to win the women’s 3-meter springboard final.
But after scoring 64.30 on her fourth dive, a reverse 2 ½-somersault tuck, and 63.00 on her fifth and final dive, a forward 2 ½-somersault, one-twist pike, Hernandez finished with 300.30 points, just ahead of second-place Maria Coburn, a fellow Texan who closed the meet with 294.25.
“Yes, I’m very excited (to clinch a spot in the World Cup),” Hernandez said. “That’s not what I was expecting, but I’m just really happy to get to go.”
Hernandez hails from Dallas-area suburb Southlake, about 30 miles west of the Robson and Lindley Aquatic Center on the SMU campus where this competition was held.
And having a sizable cheering section make that short drive to Dallas is something she considers a huge blessing.
“I think it’s really cool that I get to be here and have some of my teammates come and watch and support me,” Hernandez said.
Coburn outscored Hernandez with a 63.55 on her final dive, a forward 3 ½-somersault pike, but Hernandez’s consistency through all five rounds of the final was duly rewarded and her focus now shifts to her upcoming trip to China.
“I just like to try to stay focused on me and doing the dives that I can do to the best of my ability,” Hernandez said.
Joining Hernandez at the World Cup will be Krysta Palmer, who finished fourth in Sunday’s final yet clinched the spot on cumulative meet points.
And Palmer, who had 277.35 points in the final, was happy to punctuate the competition by securing her third trip to China.
“I just really tried to keep a positive mindset throughout the whole time here,” said Palmer, 25. “It was a long competition, so you just got to hang in there. Just maintaining a positive attitude and mindset is really the biggest thing.”
Palmer has previously competed in Beijing and Shanghai, but this will be her first visit to Wuhan.
“I’d like to just take this experience and learn from it,” Palmer said. “Finals is always the hardest list to pull together because you’re the most nervous for it and there’s a bunch of people here watching.”