Meme Sharp (center) seen here at the 2017 USA Diving Winter National Championships after winning the women's 1-meter competition.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The town known for Atlantic Coast Conference excellence certainly lived up to the hype Wednesday afternoon as Briadam Herrera (Miami, Fla./University of Miami) and Meme Sharp (Noblesville, Ind./University of Pittsburgh) each collected a 1-meter national title at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on the opening day of the 2017 USA Diving Winter National Championships. Herrera amassed a cumulative score of 755.00 in the men’s 1-meter field and Sharp tallied a cumulative mark of 476.75 in the women’s competition.
“It feels good to be back on 1-meter,” Herrera said. “I was training for the grand prix in Australia and only training 3-meter, so I wasn’t doing much 1-meter. Feels great to be back on 1-meter.”
The Miami Hurricane left no doubt he would finish atop the podium, winning the event by 66.80 points over Texas Longhorn Grayson Campbell (Vienna, Va./University of Texas). Campbell forged silver with 688.20 points. Fellow Longhorn Jordan Windle (Morrisville, N.C./University of Texas) took bronze with 661.90.
Herrera did not miss a dive in the final, scoring at least 61.20 points on each of his six dives, including a forward 3½ somersault pike worth 69.30 points in round three. He came into the final as the top seed.
Sharp entered the women’s 1-meter final seeded second with Alison Gibson (Austin, Texas/University of Texas) holding the top spot.
“I didn’t really focus on being super intense,” Sharp noted. “I wasn’t really focusing on my scores or where I was. I was ecstatic when I saw I was second going into the final and I just went on autopilot and dove.”
Sharp, a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, started her final with an inward 1½ somersault pike that scored 55.20 points, her highest-scoring dive of the day. That opening dive set the tone for an intense final as she held off Gibson by 6.00 points for gold. Gibson won silver with 470.75 points, followed by Daria Lenz (Altadena, Calif./SoCal Divers) who earned bronze with 463.80.
Sharp added two more dives of 50 or more points in the final, a back 1½ somersault 1½ twist free (51.25) in round two and a forward 2½ somersault pike (54.60) to close the final and finish off day one.
The 2017 USA Diving Winter National Championships continue through Tuesday, December 19 in Greensboro, N.C. at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Tomorrow’s events include the men’s 3-meter preliminary, women’s 10-meter preliminary, men’s 3-meter semifinal and women’s 10-meter semifinal. Olympians Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Indiana University) and Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Indiana University) will both be competing, Hixon on 3-meter and Parratto on 10-meter. Competition begins at 10:00 a.m. EST with the men’s 3-meter preliminary. Events can be live streamed here.
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