Two synchro titles awarded, Olympians lead 1-meter on day two of Winter Nationals

By USA Diving | Dec. 16, 2016, 3:15 p.m. (ET)

                COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two more synchronized diving national titles were awarded Friday, and a pair of Olympic medalists lead in men’s 1-meter qualifying as the USA Diving Winter National Championships continued with the second day of competition at Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
                Ryan Hawkins (Charlotte, N.C./Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Jordan Windle (Morrisville, N.C.) won the men’s synchronized 10-meter national title, while Carolina Sculti (Rye, N.Y) and Anne Fowler (Burke, Va.) won the women’s synchronized 3-meter title.
                Olympic silver medalist synchronized partners Sam Dorman (Tempe, Ariz.) and Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass.) lead the men’s 1-meter competition after Friday’s preliminaries, with spots on the 2017 World Championships team at stake on that event.
                Hawkins and Windle scored 730.56 points over two lists of men’s synchronized 10-meter dives to claim gold ahead of Max Flory (Fairfax, Va.) and Ben Bramley (Wellesley, Mass.), who finished second at 694.47 points. Zach Cooper (Greenwood, Ind.) and Max Showalter (Oak Park, Ill./West Lafayette, Ind.) scored 682.17 points for third.
                “Today went really well. Ryan and I dove very consistently, and we hit a lot of dives. We missed a couple, but that’s OK. It’s all about learning,” Windle said.
                Hawkins and Windle had both previously won national titles in synchronized 10-meter, but this was their first title with each other.
                “This was our first time competing together. We had a few dives that were a little off, but I’m excited to continue training together and try to figure each other out,” Hawkins said.  
                Fowler and Sculti, who finished eighth while representing the United States at the FINA World Junior Diving Championships in Russia earlier this month, won their first senior national title together with 516.69 points over two lists of dives. Brooke Schultz (Fayetteville, Ark.) and Maria Coburn (Round Rock, Texas) were second with 508.98, and Morgan Meixner (Indianapolis, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Sydney Couch (Windermere, Fla./West Lafayette, Ind.) scored 479.79 for third.
                “We’ve been practicing really hard for this meet. We haven’t had a lot of practice time together since we live far away from each other, but we gave it our all and I think we dove well,” Sculti said. “We were just at Junior Worlds together so we had a whole week together and that helped. We both have some things to work on, but I feel like our timing has been pretty consistent the entire time we’ve been diving together.”
                Two divers will be named to the 2017 World Championships team for 1-meter after Monday’s final. Dorman scored 419.05 points in the prelims to lead his Olympic synchro partner Hixon by 8.05 points heading into the finals. Scores will carry over, and the top two finishers will qualify for the World Championships. Hixon leads third-place Briadam Herrera (Miami, Fla.) by 5.1 points, and 2016 Olympian Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind.) is fourth with 404.25 points – 1.65 behind Herrera and 6.75 behind Hixon.      
                The USA Diving Winter National Championships continue through Wednesday, December 21. After a day away from competition on Saturday, Sunday’s action begins at 10 a.m. and features preliminaries and semifinals for men’s 3-meter and women’s 10-meter.