DIVING: Ishimatsu, Helms capture 1-meter titles at Speedo USA Diving Spring National Championships

April 16, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
MINNEAPOLIS-Victoria Ishimatsu (Seal Beach, Calif.) and Ryan Helms (Moultrie, Ga.) won national titles on 1-meter on Wednesday, the opening day of competition at the Speedo USA Diving Spring National Championships at the University Aquatic Center. They were the first senior national titles for both divers, with Ishimatsu coming out ahead in a close women's contest and Helms dominating the men's event. Ishimatsu finished with 272.55 points, just ahead of Amanda Miller (Centreville, Va.), who was second at 270.65."I've had my eyes on this for a while. It was one of my bigger competitions,"Ishimatsu said. She had a slight 1.30-point lead heading into the final round, but Miller had an advantage in difficulty with one dive to go. Miller's final dive, a front two and a half pike had a 2.6 DD, while Ishimatsu's inward one and a half had a DD of 2.4."I was thinking about that. I knew I had to hit it, but it's one of my better dives, so I knew if I did my best it would be enough,"said Ishimatsu, who came through with scores as high as 8.5 on her last dive to stay ahead. Brittney Feldman (Indianapolis) was third at 258.30, and Ashley Karnes (Bloomington, Ind.) was fourth with 249.40 points. Helms dominated with a 398.70-point performance, with Terry Horner (Orlando, Fla.) taking second at 361.80. Helms was in a four-way tie for first after one round but pulled away in the second round and never trailed. He received 8s and 9s on his inward two and a half in the fifth round and headed into the last round with a 50-point lead."I had the meet of my life. It hasn't all sunk in yet, but once it hits me, I'm going to be pumped up. It felt good,"Helms said. Jonathan Wilcox (Bellevue, Wash.) was third with 352.95 points, followed by Wes Wieser (Chesterfield, Mo.) at 342.95. The Speedo USA Diving Spring National Championships run through Sunday, April 20. Thursday's competition features women's 10-meter semis at 11 a.m., followed women's 10-meter synchro semis, men's 3-meter semis, men's 3-meter synchro semis, women's 10-meter synchro finals and men's 3-meter finals. - USA Diving - Featuring America's best divers, USA Diving is the national governing body for the sport of diving. Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA Diving offers diversified programs geared toward the broadest number of diving enthusiasts, from the novice to the world champion. USA Diving conducts approximately 40 regional and national events annually and is responsible for training and selecting teams that represent the United States at international events such as the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup. For additional information please call Jennifer Lowery at (317) 237-5252 or visit www.usadiving.org.