Abby Johnston wins two silver medals as U.S. divers claim four medals in Puerto Rico

By USA Diving | April 02, 2016, 5:17 p.m. (ET)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Abby Johnston (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Durham, N.C.) won a pair of silver medals Saturday at the FINA Puerto Rico Grand Prix. In all, Team USA divers made four trips to the podium on the first day of finals. Johnston was second in the individual women’s 3-meter final and paired with Jordan Windle (Morrisville, N.C./Durham, N.C.) for second in mixed synchronized 3-meter. Additionally, Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif./Austin, Texas) and Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Bloomington, Ind.) won bronze in men’s synchronized 3-meter, and Murphy Bromberg (Bexley, Ohio/Austin, Texas) and Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz.) were second in women’s synchronized 10-meter.

Johnston scored 310.85 points in the individual 3-meter contest to finish second behind China’s Wu Chunting, who won gold with 338.25 points. Xu Zhihuan, also of China, was third at 295.05.
               
On another windy day in San Juan, Johnston scored more than 60 points on four of her five dives. Her best marks came in round four when she scored 66 points on her inward 2 ½ pike after waiting briefly for the wind to die down.

“It was really windy. The wind really picked up right as the event was starting, and I waited a little while on my inward. I thought my list was really solid. I didn’t have any misses, and I landed on my head five times. I’m really proud of how I did,” Johnston said.

Later in the afternoon, she and Windle paired together for 278.40 points and silver in mixed synchronized 3-meter. China’s Huang Bowen and Wu Chunting scored 304.38 for gold, and Switzerland’s Jessica Favre and Guillame Dutoit were third with 254.58 points.

In men’s synchronized 3-meter, less than three points separated the top three teams. Dumais and Hixon scored 361.02 to finish behind China’s Peng Jianfeng and Sun Zhiyi (363.48) and France’s Matthieu Rosset and Antione Catel (362.67).

The Americans were the only team in the field to do a front 4 ½ tuck, which carries a 3.8 degree of difficulty, while the others did a front 3 ½ pike, which has a DD of 3.1. The risk didn’t pay off though as Dumais and Hixon scored just 47.88 points on the dive in the fifth of six rounds.             

“We were doing the big dives. We wanted to test ourselves. It was windy. It’s tough, but we did some really good stuff. Our vols were great. On our front 4 ½ the synchro was great, but we both missed it. When you try the big dives, you have a little more room for error. Our last dive was great. We’ve only had one practice away from here. The synchro’s great, we’ve just got to keep working,” Dumais said.    

Hixon and Dumais, who were fifth at the 2013 World Championships, competed together for the first time since 2014.  

USA Diving member and home crowd favorite Rafael Quintero (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico/Tucson, Ariz.) won the silver medal in the men’s 10-meter competition. He finished with 467.50 points, second only to China’s Lian Junjie, who took first at 477.20. Xu Zewei, also of China, won bronze with 426.75.  Jordan Windle (Morrisville, N.C/Durham, N.C.) scored 386.55 points for fourth, and David Dinsmore (New Albany, Ohio/Coral Gables, Fla.) was sixth at 383.45.

Bromberg and Schnell scored 276.00 points for second in women’s synchronized 10-meter behind China’s Suo Miya and Li Jinming, who won with 294.18 points. With only two teams in the competition, the Americans used the meet as a more of a practice opportunity.

“We just tried to have fun, enjoy it, and use it as a practice to lead up to Trials and kind of test out what works for us and what doesn’t. Today our goal was to work on our individual dives.  That’s our main concern. Our synchro is there, but we need to work on our individual dives,” Schnell said.

The Puerto Rico Grand Prix wraps up Sunday with Bromberg in the individual 10-meter finals, Hixon and Dumais in the individual 3-meter finals, Johnston and Kassidy Cook (The Woodlands, Texas) in synchronized 3-meter, and Dinsmore and Windle in synchronized 10-meter.