Olympians Cozad Magana, Johnson win individual titles at Winter Nationals

By USA Diving | Dec. 20, 2016, 8:23 p.m. (ET)

                COLUMBUS, Ohio – Olympians Amy (Cozad) Magaña (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) won individual national titles Tuesday at the USA Diving Winter National Championships. Magaña won the women’s 10-meter title, while Johnson took first in the men’s 3-meter contest.
                In mixed synchronized competition, University of Texas divers Grayson Campbell (Vienna, Va./Austin, Texas) and Meghan O’Brien (Concord, Mass./Austin, Texas) won in mixed 3-meter synchro and Andrew Capobianco (Holly Springs, N.C.) and Tarrin Gilliland (Liberty Hill, Texas/Midland, Texas) won mixed synchronized 10-meter.
                A day after finishing second on 1-meter to qualify for the 2017 World Championships, Johnson won his 11th career national title and first on 3-meter as he finished with 1344.80 points over three lists of 3-meter dives. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist in synchronized 10-meter was the only diver to score more than 400 points on each of his preliminary, semifinal and final lists. He scored 465.80 points in the final, including 90.10 on his inward 3 ½ tuck.
                “This feels really good. Like I said after the 1-meter competition, I’ve been doing a lot of college dual meets to try to get back in the groove of things. Coming in to nationals with some confidence on springboard was good. We came here to get the job done, and we got the job done,” Johnson said. “Now it’s time to go home to prepare for Big Tens, NCAAs and the World Championship qualifiers in April and May. I’m excited.”
                Colin Zeng, an Ohio State diver from China, finished second with 1187.15 points but because non-U.S. citizens cannot displace an American diver from advancing or medaling, the silver medal went to Mark Anderson (Lake Forest, Calif./Austin, Texas), who was less than a point behind Zeng at 1186.45. Dashiell Enos (Studio City, Calif.), who earlier in the week won synchronized 3-meter, claimed bronze with his fourth-place total of 1136.75 points.
                Magaña won the individual 10-meter title at winter nationals for the second year in a year, this time scoring 998.95 points over three lists of dives. She was the most consistent diver throughout the competition as the only diver to score more than 300 points on each of her preliminary, semifinal and final lists of dives. In the five-dive final, Magaña received 87.45 points on a back 3 ½ tuck and added 76.80 points on a back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists. With the victory, Magaña is now a nine-time national champion, with two individual 10-meter titles.
                “It feels good. It’s my first national title with my new name and with my new coach. Everything worked out how we hoped it would,” said (Cozad) Magaña, who got married in September and is now diving with her former club coach Sean McCarthy in Indianapolis.  “I didn’t really mentally prepare (for this meet). I was just coming into practice trying to make every practice the best I could and trying to make every warmup the best I could. In competition, I just tried to keep my energy level low and keep relaxed. The only plan I had was to dive my best. This was just focus on fun.”     
                Gilliland was second in the individual contest with 952.20 points a year after taking the bronze medal. Olivia Rosendahl (Los Angeles/Evanston, Ill.), who earlier in the week won the synchronized 10-meter title, was third individually with 937.40 points.
                Gilliland and Capobianco finished with 289.86 points for first in mixed synchronized 10-meter, beating out the second-place team of Magaña and Max Showalter (Oak Park, Ill./West Lafayette, Ind.), who finished with 262.08.
                O’Brien and Campbell won the mixed 3-meter synchro title with 266.10 points, 5.1 points ahead of Mizzou divers Lauren Reedy (Rochester Hills, Mich./Columbia, Mo.) and Kyle Goodwin (Aurora, Colo./Columbia, Mo.).
                “We treated this event as more of a fun time rather than a serious event. We tried to have the best time possible, have fun, joke around and relax,” said Campbell, who also competed in the individual 3-meter final and finished sixth in that event.
                The USA Diving Winter National Championships conclude Wednesday, December 21 with women’s 3-meter finals beginning at 4:30 p.m., followed by the men’s 10-meter final.