Brooke Schultz dives at the women's 3-meter springboard at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 on Aug. 5, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
LIMA, Peru – The United States finished the final day of diving with another medal as Brooke Schultz earned bronze in the women’s 3-meter springboard final with a total score of 334.85. Sarah Bacon recovered from a difficult third round to finish fifth. In the men’s 10-meter platform final, a slow start hindered Steele Johnson’s hopes for the podium as he finished fifth.
The bronze was Schultz’s third medal in the Pan American Games Lima 2019, having already won gold in the 1-meter springboard and silver in the synchronized 3-meter springboard.
“It’s so exciting,” Schultz said. “It’s such an honor to come here and represent the U.S. and to walk away with three medals in three events, it’s amazing. It’s a great way to end the summer.”
In total, the United States finished with seven medals in diving, third behind Mexico with 11 and Canada with nine.
Schultz got off to a hot start, opting to begin with a forward dive with two and a half somersaults and a twist in pike position, resulting in a score of 70.50, tied for second best in the round. Bacon started slower. A shaky landing on her inward dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position earned her a score of 60.00, landing her in seventh place.
Things switched entirely in the second round, however. This time, it was Bacon who impressed with a 70.50 on a backwards dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position, catapulting her to third place. Meanwhile, Schultz struggled on a forward dive with three and a half somersaults in a pike position. Her score of 57.35 dropped her from second place to fifth.
In the third round, both Bacon and Schultz attempted the same dive: a reverse dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position. Bacon went first and again was shaky on her entry, causing a big splash and scoring a 42.00. Schultz returned to form and followed with an impressive 72.00. The standings continued to shift as Bacon slipped to fifth while Schultz jumped to second.
“I missed my third-round dive pretty bad,” Bacon said. “After that, I just wanted to refocus and hit my next few dives as best as I could.”
She did just that in the fourth round. While she remained in fifth place, Bacon’s score of 71.30 on a forward dive with three and a half somersaults in a pike was a vast improvement. Schultz also stayed put in second place with a 67.50 on a backwards dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position.
Entering the final round, both Schultz and Bacon were in contention for the podium. Bacon scored a 73.50, her best of the day, on a forward dive with two and a half somersaults and a twist in a pike position. While the score was third best in the round, it wasn’t enough to overcome a tough third round. Bacon finished fifth with a total score of 317.30.
As for Schultz, her 67.50 on an inward dive with two and a half somersaults in a pike position was enough for third place with a total score of 334.85. Canada’s Jennifer Abel took home the gold with a 374.25 and Dolores Hernandez Monzon of Mexico earned silver with 339.60.
Johnson, who underwent surgery on his right foot for a stress fracture just six months ago, was the sole U.S. participant in the men’s 10-meter platform final after Ben Bramley failed to qualify. Johnson entered the final as the top seed after scoring a 468.50 in the preliminaries. This momentum didn’t carry over immediately for Johnson, however. His bold choice to begin the day with an armstand back dive with a double somersault and one and a half twists in a free position scored him just a 67.20 and landed him tied for eighth to begin the competition.
Johnson earned the same score in the second round on an inward dive with three and a half somersaults in a tuck position. Oddly enough, so did the other two divers he had tied. The trio bumped up to seventh place entering the third round.
“It’s part of diving,” Johnson said. “Sometimes you have little mistakes that create big hits in the score. Obviously, I didn’t want to start out like that.”
There, Johnson turned things around. He scored a 77.55 on a backwards dive with three and a half somersaults in a tuck position, the second-best score of the round, to obtain sole possession of seventh place. Johnson continued to impress in the fourth round, scoring a 76.50 on a forward dive with three and a half somersaults in a pike position. This leapfrogged him into fifth place.
In the fifth round, Johnson produced his best performance yet. His reverse dive with three and a half somersaults in a tuck position earned him a score of 83.30, bumping him into fourth place.
In the end, his efforts weren’t enough to overcome his slow start. His final dive, a backwards with two and a half somersaults and one and a half twists in a pike position, scored him a 76.80 which landed him in fifth place with a total score of 448.55. Kevin Berlin Reyes of Mexico took home the gold with a total score of 500.35. His teammate, Ivan Garcia Navarro, won silver with a total score of 497.55. Canada’s Vincent Riendeau rounded out the podium with a total score of 462.70.
“I’m proud of the way I fought back to finish fifth from such a big deficit,” Johnson said. “Six months ago, I was on an operating table. I just need to remember that the fact that I’m here right now, diving at an elite level, is the victory. It would have been nice to walk away with a medal, but I’m taking what I learned here and applying it to my next meet.”