INDIANAPOLIS – Sam Dorman (Tempe, Ariz./Miami, Fla.) and Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Bloomington, Ind.) lead the men’s synchronized 3-meter field after Saturday’s semifinals on the opening day of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Diving, while Amy Cozad (Indianapolis, Ind./Bloomington, Ind.) and Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Bloomington, Ind.) lead the women’s synchronized 10-meter standings.
The finals for both events are set for Wednesday evening. Scores are cumulative, with preliminaries, semifinals and finals all factoring into team selection. One team in each synchronized event will be selected to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.
Dorman and Hixon combined for 871.53 points on their preliminary and semifinal lists to carry a 56.52-point lead over 2012 bronze medalists Kristian Ipsen (Clayton, Calif./Stanford, Calif.) and Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif./Austin, Texas) into the finals.
Dorman and Hixon led after the morning preliminaries, when they scored 440.22 points to lead by 28.05 points after the first list of dives. The pair, who competed together for the first time, extended their lead with another solid list in the semifinals.
“I think we just tried to stay in the same groove we were in this morning. We just did one dive at a time focusing on that dive, not the outcome. I myself don’t watch the scoreboard so I didn’t even know what was going on, I was just focusing on my diving,” Dorman said.
Degree of difficulty gave Hixon and Dorman an edge. They competed a front 4 ½, which carries a degree of difficulty of 3.8. They scored 91.20 points on the dive in both the preliminaries and semifinals.
“We focused on what we needed to do on that one dive to hit that dive. We’ve done it a bunch of times together so we just really focused on staying in sync, doing our correction we needed to do on the dive and hitting it,” said Dorman.
In all they scored more than 80 points on six of their eight optionals over their two lists and will look to maintain their lead in the finals.
“I’m just excited for the opportunity (to compete in the finals) and hope we can keep it going. We’re trying to relax a little bit. Just try to keep our heads right where they belong. You just have to calm down and take one dive at a time like in practice,” Hixon said.
Ipsen and Dumais head into the finals with 815.01 points, while Mark Anderson (Lake Forest, Calif./Austin, Texas) and Dwight Dumais (Ventura, Calif./Austin, Texas) are in third place with 743.40 points.Cozad and Parratto scored 617.28 points on their two list of dives and lead Anna James (Midland, Texas/West Lafayette, Ind.) and Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Tallahassee, Fla.) by 41.28 points heading into the finals. James and Young are at 576.00 points, with Samantha Bromberg (Bexley, Ohio/Austin, Texas) and Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz.) in third with 560.64 points.
“This is obviously more hyped up than a usual nationals and I think it just gives that energy to it that’s different than normal. And obviously the cameras are following you around so that’s different. But honestly when it comes to it, it’s the same people diving that you’ve been diving against for years. You know all your friends and family are here and that’s what makes it a more comfortable atmosphere to dive in,” Parratto said.
Cozad and Parratto, who were fourth at the World Cup in February to qualify the U.S. for the Olympics, scored 306 points in the preliminaries and followed up with 311.28 points on the semifinal list.
“I think prelims for me is always like a little harder in the mornings and then once you have a later night, I’m definitely more of a night diver I think. We were more ready to go and get those dives done,” Parratto said.
Cozad, an Indianapolis native, is competing in her hometown pool where she learned to dive.
“It’s awesome, it gives me more power. It feels like everyone in the crowd is here cheering for us. It’s just one leg up on the competition,” Cozad said.
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving continue through Sunday, June 26. Sunday’s competition features preliminaries and semifinals in men’s synchronized 10-meter.