Oxford, Ohio - Tyler Downs (Ballwin, Mo./Ripfest), Tarrin Gilliland (Liberty Hill, Texas/COM Aquatics), Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas/GC Diving) and Lyle Yost (Shaker Heights, Ohio/American Flyers Diving) all qualified in a second event for this summer’s FINA World Junior Diving Championships on Saturday at the USA Diving Junior World Championships. Jacob Fielding (Los Angeles/Trojan Dive Club), Johanna Holloway (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and Daryn Wright (Plainfield, Ind./Indiana International School of Diving) also qualified for the team.
The trials run through April 22 and will determine the team that represents the United States at the 2018 FINA World Junior Championships in Kiev, Ukraine, from July 23-29.
Fielding and Yost earned the two group A 1-meter in a close contest that came down to the final round. Fielding picked up the win with 773.90 points, with Yost finishing second at 763.10 points. Just 5.6 points separated first from fourth heading into the last round, with Fielding in first and just .85 points ahead of Yost. Because he had not yet made the team, Fielding needed to win to secure a spot on the team. Yost simply needed to finish in the top two because he had already earned a spot on 3-meter on Friday.
Fielding came through with 70.40 points on a front 2 ½ with one twist, good for first and a spot on the team. Yost scored 60.45 points on an inward 2 ½ tuck.
“First from fourth? I was just paying attention from first to second. I knew we were less than a point apart. I was taking it like any other dive, but you always have those shakes. I took two extra breaths this time instead of one,” Fielding said.
Yost was aware how close he was not only to Fielding but also to Noah Duperre and Jack Matthews, the two competitors right behind him in the standings.
“I looked up and I saw that between Jack, Noah, me and Jake, it was 697, 698, 702 and 703. Everybody was right up there, and I knew everybody had to hit their last dive,” Yost said. “I’m the only one I can control. I can’t control what anyone else does, so I just had to do the dive to the best of my ability and do it well.”
Gilliland, a senior national team member, dominated the group A platform contest with 735.55 points.
“It was a little rough on the vols in the beginning, but I did good on my optionals and stayed consistent,” said Gilliland, who also qualified for Junior Worlds in synchronized platform.
Holloway picked up the second group A platform spot with 589.80 points. She had a 5.9-point lead over third place heading into the final round, and she put down a back 3 ½ tuck that earned 62.70 points to qualify her for Junior Worlds.
“I got told that I needed to do a good dive, so I kind of knew (how close it was),” Holloway said. “It feels great to make the team. I’m pretty excited.”
Hernandez, who qualified on 1-meter on Friday, won the group B platform title with 501.40 points to add another event to her schedule at Junior Worlds. Wright took the second spot after finishing with 454.55 points.
“I felt pretty good. I just tried to go out there, be confident and dive the best I could,” Hernandez said.
Wright said she could have done better, but nonetheless was excited to make her first Junior World team.
“I had a couple misses, so I could’ve improved but overall I’m pretty happy,” Wright said.
Downs secured a group B spot on 1-meter after scoring 670.60 points to take first by 74.9 points. He had already qualified on 3-meter on Friday.
“I really wanted to add another event after qualifying on 3-meter. My final wasn’t my greatest, but I ended up qualifying for 1-meter. It was a really good competition, and people did amazing dives. I focused and dove how I could. It wasn’t my best, but still managed to get my spot,” Downs said.
The second group B boys 1-meter spot will be determined Sunday, when the trials conclude with the boys competing on platform and the girls diving on 3-meter. The second 1-meter spot for group A girls, group B girls and group B boys will also be determined Sunday. The second 1-meter spot is awarded to the highest 1-meter finisher who is already on the team in another event.