LIMA, PERU – The U.S. diving duo of Sarah Bacon and Brooke Schultz took home the silver medal in the women’s synchronized 3m springboard final at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 with a total score of 290.10. In the men’s 1m springboard final, Andrew Capobianco’s total score of 411.25 secured the bronze medal by just 1.05 points. Michael Hixon finished sixth with a total score of 385.80.
Bacon and Schultz hadn’t been partners for long before the competition. The two were paired just days ago with the intention of using the event as a warmup for upcoming dives. This wasn’t their first encounter as teammates, however.
“We used to do syncro when we were little,” Bacon said. “We had some experience. But other than that, our coaches here helped us figure out our hurdle. Once we figured that out, it was really easy to stay in sync.”
The two started with a forward dive in a pike position in the first round. The judges awarded them a score of 48.00, tied for first with Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware of Canada. That tie for the top faded in the next round, however. Canada’s score of 47.40 on a reverse dive in a pike position outpaced the United States’ score of 45.00 in the same dive.
The gap between Canada and the United States widened in the third round, when Mexico inserted itself into second place with a score of 67.50 on an inward dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position. A strong score of 66.60 on a front dive with two and a half somersaults and a twist in a pike position kept the United States in the chase for the podium.
In the fourth round, Schultz and Bacon took advantage of a disappointing 63.00 from Mexico to pass them in the standings, scoring a 67.50 on a back dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position, placing the United States in second place entering the final round.
There, the two scored a 63.00 on an inward dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position. The score was enough for them to hold fast in second place. Abel and Ware of Canada took home the gold with a total score of 309.60. Paola Milagros Espinosa Sanchez and Dolores Hernandez Monzon of Mexico won the bronze medal with a total score of 285.00.
“It feels great,” Schultz said. “We came into this event to have fun and to walk away with a medal and represent the U.S. well. It’s definitely exciting.”
Next up was the men’s 1m springboard. Capobianco chose to begin the competition with a forward dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position. Hixon opted for a back dive with two and a half somersaults in a tuck position. The judges awarded them scores of 62.40 and 60.00, respectively, landing them in fifth and sixth place.
In the second round, Capobianco added a twist to his first-round dive attempt to make up for his slow start. The judges were impressed, awarding him a score of 70.40, which catapulted him into third place. Hixon’s reverse dive with one and a half somersaults and two and a half twists in a free position scored him a 64.50, enough for sixth place.
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Hixon’s position sank in the third round, however, when he struggled to perform a reverse dive with two and a half somersaults in a tuck position, landing him a score of just 49.50. He was relegated to eighth place. Capobianco also saw his position drop with his score of 66.00 on a back dive with two and a half somersaults in a tuck position couldn’t measure up to the other top dives in the round, dropping him to fourth place.
The fourth round was one of continuity. While Hixon rebounded with a strong score of 63.00 on a forward dive with three and a half somersaults in a tuck position, it wasn’t enough to move him from eighth place. The same was true for Capobianco, who remained in fourth place with a score of 64.50 on a reverse dive with two and a half somersaults in a tuck position.
Both divers hit their stride in the fifth round. Hixon scored a 67.20, his highest of the day to that point, with a forward dive with two and a half somersaults and a twist in a pike position. This moved him up to sixth place. Capobianco performed an inward dive with two and a half somersaults in a tuck position beautifully. His score was 75.95, second best of any competitor in that round, good enough to put him in third place.
His forward dive of three and a half somersaults in a tuck position scored him a 72.00 to fend off Mexico’s Yahel Castillo Huerta and secure the bronze for the United States.
“It feels awesome,” Capobianco said. “I wasn’t really expecting it on the 1m. I was just trying to remember my basics.”
Not to be outdone, Hixon put on a stellar display in the final round. His score of 81.60 on an inward dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position was tied for the best score on a dive in the entire competition.
“It’s always important to finish strong,” Hixon said. “I try to separate every dive. I’m looking forward to continuing to represent the United States.”
Juan Celaya Hernandez of Mexico took home the gold with a total score of 435.60 while Yona Knight-Wisdom of Jamaica won silver with a total score of 429.90.
Bacon and Schultz will compete as individuals in the women’s 1m springboard tomorrow, while Capobianco and Hixon will compete in two dives on Aug. 3. They will also team up for the men’s synchronized 3m springboard, and then compete as individuals in the men’s 3m springboard.