Gilliland/Parrato, Hixon earn top-10 finishes at FINA World Cup

By USA Diving | June 07, 2018, 11:11 a.m. (ET)

WUHAN, China- Thursday’s World Cup saw another day of action for Team USA as Tarrin Gilliland (Liberty Hill, Texas/Midland, Texas) and Jessica Parratto (Dover, N.H./Bloomington, Ind.) placed fifth in the women’s 10-meter synchro final and Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Bloomington, Ind.) finished ninth in the men’s 3-meter final.

Hixon scored 410.65 to finish ninth in the final after qualifying in seventh place in the semifinals. The Olympic silver medalist started strong with a front 2 ½ somersaults with 2 twists for 83.30 points. Despite the great start, Hixon slipped to 11th place after the third round. Hixon climbed to sixth with one round to go after a reverse 3 ½ tuck for 78.75 points and an inward 3 ½ tuck for 81.60 points in the fourth and fifth rounds. Hixon dropped to ninth after a missed front 4 ½ tuck, which landed the diver 57.00 points in the final round.

China’s Xie Siyi and Cao Yuan scored 557.60 and 544.60 points, respectively, to win gold and silver. Jack Laugher of Great Britain took the bronze with 515.00 points

Gilliland and Parratto proved to be consistent in the women’s 10-meter synchro event, scoring 297.54 for fifth in the final after placing fourth in the preliminaries with 297.36 points. The pair began in 10th place on a reverse dive pike for 45.00 points in the first round of the final but built momentum throughout the event to move up to ninth and sixth before dropping to seventh in the fourth round. In the final round Gilliland and Parratto successfully executed their back 2 ½ somersaults with 1 ½ twists, which landed the pair 75.84 points and fifth place. The two qualified to compete in the 2019 FINA Diving World Series in the event.

“Tarrin and Jessica were very focused and confident in today’s synchro competition,” said coach Gabi Chereches. “Drew (Johansen) and I are very proud of both girls. They have made great improvements in key areas of their dives.”

China's Zhang Jiaqi and Zhang Minjie won gold with 366.12 points, while North Korea's Kim Mi Hwa and Kim Kwang Hui scored 328.98 for silver. Meaghan Benfeito and Caeli McKay of Canada rounded out the medalists with 324.42 points for bronze.

The FINA World Cup continues through Sunday, June 10. Friday’s competition features Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Brandon Loschiavo (Huntington Beach, Calif./West Lafayette, Ind.) competing in men’s synchronized platform and Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas) and Krysta Palmer (Carson City, Nev./Reno, Nev.) diving in the individual women’s 3-meter event.