DIVING: Colwill/Tarantino, Livingston/Wilkinson win synchronized titles at Speedo USA Diving Spring Nationals

April 17, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
MINNEAPOLIS-Chris Colwill (Brandon, Fla.) and Jevon Tarantino (Boca Raton, Fla.) successfully defended their men's synchronized 3-meter title Thursday at the Speedo USA Diving Spring National Championships, and Laura Wilkinson (Spring, Texas) and Jessica Livingston (The Woodlands, Texas) claimed the women's 10-meter synchro national title. Wilkinson and Livingston scored 327.66 points to edge out last year's spring national champions Haley Ishimatsu (Seal Beach, Calif.) and Mary Beth Dunnichay (Elwood, Ind.), who finished second at 310.56."I'm pretty excited. This was a great contest,"Wilkinson said. The two teams were tied after three rounds, and Wilkinson and Livingston took a slight three-point lead after four rounds. It was their final dive-a back two and a half with one and a half twists-that sealed the victory after receiving 8s and 9s from the judges."We've been training together more, and that's a huge help,"said Livingston, who redshirted the 2008 season at the University of Texas in order to move home to train full-time with Wilkinson."We've really seen the results."Kaylea Arnett (Spring, Texas) and Michelle Cabassol (Montgomery, Texas) scored 301.38 points for third. Colwill and Tarantino scored 411.81 for the victory, finishing ahead of Justin Wilcock (Smithfield, Utah) and Burkley Showe (Columbus, Ohio), who had 386.94 points for second. Thomas Finchum (Indianapolis) and David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind.) were a close third at 384.60."We just need to keep on doing what we're doing. Both of us have a real competitive attitude,"Tarantino said. In individual action, Brittany Viola (Orlando, Fla.) led the field of divers advancing to Saturday's women's 10-meter finals after posting 322.90 points in the semifinals. Livingston was second at 313.15, followed by Ishimatsu at 307.45 and Wilkinson at 296.60. The top 12 divers advanced, and the top eight in the finals will qualify for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Diving. Colwill took first in the men's 3-meter semifinals with 438.45 points after overtaking Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif.) in the final round when he scored 8s and 9s in his reverse three and a half. Dumais, who had led the entire competition up until then, finished second at 428.20. Tarantino was third at 411.45, with Kristian Ipsen (Clayton, Calif.) taking fourth at 411.45. The top 12 finishers advanced to Saturday's finals, where the top eight will qualify for the Trials. The Speedo USA Diving Spring National Championships run through Sunday, April 20. Friday's competition features men's 10-meter semis at 11 a.m., followed men's 10-meter synchro semis, women's 3-meter semis, women's 3-meter synchro semis, men's 10-meter synchro finals and women's 3-meter synchro 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.