Michael Hixon (center) won the men's 3-meter event at the 2017 USA Diving Winter National Championships.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Day four at the 2017 USA Diving Winter National Championships saw Olympian Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Indiana University) and Tarrin Gilliland (Liberty Hill, Texas/COM Aquatics) crowned as national champions at the Greensboro Aquatic Center Saturday afternoon. Hixon topped the men’s 3-meter field with 1231.85 points and Gilliland came in first in the women’s 10-meter contest with 991.10 points.
Hixon entered the final seeded third with a cumulative score of 773.45 points, coming in behind Jordan Windle (Morrisville, N.C./University of Texas) and top seed Briadam Herrera (Miami, Fla./University of Miami). The Indiana University redshirt senior came out blazing with a forward 2½ somersault 2 twist pike worth 81.60 points and followed with marks of 76.50 (back 2½ somersault pike) and 74.40 (forward 3½ somersault pike) in rounds two and three. Hixon then crafted his highest-scoring dive of the final in round four with a reverse 3½ somersault tuck that earned him 84.00 points. He capped off the competition with an inward 3½ somersault tuck (69.70) and a forward 4½ somersault tuck (72.20).
“We were just focused on having a good final,” Hixon said. “That’s all we wanted to do. It was all about preparing for the final and I thought we did a good job of that.”
Windle (1201.05) ended up with silver and Herrera (1180.55) added a bronze to his 1-meter gold from earlier in the meet. Colin Zeng (Knoxville, Tenn./University of Tennessee) produced a score of 1214.50 points, but was not eligible to medal due to his international status.
Gilliland came into the women’s 10-meter final as the top seed, carrying over 654.45 points from the preliminary and semifinal rounds. The 15-year-old continued to press in the final, opening with a forward 3½ somersault pike that collected 76.50 points. Two rounds later she dazzled all in attendance with a gorgeous back 3½ somersault tuck that produced 84.15 points, her highest-scoring dive of the final. She went on to best the field by 48.05 points to claim gold.
“I just tried to stay consistent the whole time, the whole three rounds,” Gilliland noted. “If I mess up, I just go on dive after dive.”
Olivia Rosendahl (Los Angeles, Calif./Northwestern University) took silver with 943.05 points and Murphy Bromberg (Bexley, Ohio/University of Texas) came in third with 909.95 points.
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 women’s 3-meter final and men’s 10-meter final. Competition begins at 1:00 p.m. EST. Events can be live streamed here.
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