Oxford, Ohio – USA Diving’s Junior World Championships Trials wrapped up Sunday as the final spots on the team that will represent the United States at the FINA World Junior Championships were determined. The World Junior Championships will be held July 23-29 in Kiev, Ukraine.
Max Weinrich (Brookeville, Md./Montgomery Dive Club) earned a spot on the team with a win in the boys group B platform event, and seven others who had already qualified secured spots on additional events on Sunday.
Weinrich scored 668.85 points to win the platform event, highlighted by a reverse 2 ½ tuck that scored 79.80 points. He scored 63 points or higher on his other three optional dives.
“It feels really amazing, such a great feeling. That’s probably the most consistent list I’ve ever done. I just wanted to go in and let the dives happen. I didn’t want to try too hard. I just wanted to let it happen, and it worked out,” Weinrich said.
Tyler Downs (Ballwin, Mo./Ripfest), who had already qualified on 1-meter and 3-meter took second with 637.50 points to earn the other platform spot.
“It’s amazing. I’m not really a tower diver, but it’s there. I did my list. I can only control myself, not the other divers and I qualified,” Downs said.
Max Flory (Fairfax, Va./Dominion Dive Club) and Jack Matthews (Powell, Ohio/Ohio State Dive Club) earned the two platform spots in group A.
Flory secured a platform berth after winning the event with 799.30 points. He scored more than 64 points on three of his five optionals in the finals en route to qualifying for his third event at Junior Worlds.
“Everything went pretty steady, and there were no huge misses. There were some really good things and some OK things but nothing went really bad, so I was happy with that. Everything was pretty consistent throughout both lists,” said Flory, who also qualified in both synchronized events.
Matthews picked up the second group A platform spot with 745.30 points while performing some new dives, including an armstand front double somersault with one twist that scored 75.95 points in the final round.
“I felt pretty good. I did have two misses in prelims and a miss in finals, but I did two new dives. I was happy because my last dive is my newest dive and it was also my best dive,” said Matthews, who also qualified with Flory in the synchronized 3-meter event.
In group A girls 3-meter, Tarrin Gilliland (Liberty Hill, Texas/COM Aquatics) and Maria Coburn (Round Rock, Texas/Longhorn Aquatics) picked up the two spots. Gilliland edged Coburn in the final round to take first by .9 points. Gilliland finished with 679.60 points after closing out her 3-meter list with 72 points on a front 2 ½ with a twist to move into the top spot. Coburn finished with 678.70 points.
Gilliland, known primarily as a platform diver, said she decided to try 3-meter for fun, and it worked out well.
“It’s really cool. I was actually just doing it for fun. I just wanted to stay consistent and see where I was at. I felt really good,” said Gilliland, who also qualified in both individual and synchronized platform.
Coburn found herself in third place after the preliminaries but came back strong and had climbed to first place with one round to go before Gilliland narrowly moved ahead in the final round. Coburn scored more 60 points on three of her four dives in the final, including 72 on a back 2 ½ pike.
“It was good and bad. I had a really good comeback, but I definitely have some things I need to work on. When I go back home, I know what I need to do in order to do what I want to do at worlds,” said Coburn, who won gold on 1-meter and silver on 3-meter in the B group at the 2016 World Junior Championships.
A day after going 1-2 in the group B platform contest, Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas/GC Diving) and Daryn Wright (Plainfield, Ind./Indiana International School of Diving) repeated that showing in the 3-meter event. Hernandez won 3-meter with 610.30 points, with Wright scoring 537.75 for second.
Both divers said they prefer the 3-meter event over the platform.
“I just get to practice 3-meter a lot more and I really enjoy springboard. I was proud of my performance, and I feel like I improved a lot in the final,” said Hernandez, who also qualified for Junior Worlds on 1-meter.
Wright said she is better on platform but prefers springboard.
“I feel a lot more comfortable on 3-meter because 10-meter is really high up. Even though I’m better on 10-meter, I think 3-meter is a lot more comfortable for me. I felt a lot more relaxed and I felt really good with my performance,” Wright said.