DALLAS- National titles were awarded to Olympic silver medalist Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Brandon Loschiavo (Huntington Beach, Calif./West Lafayette, Ind.) for the men’s platform synchro after finishing the finals with 429.24 points Friday at the USA Diving Senior National Championships. Murphy Bromberg (Bexley, Ohio/Austin, Texas) and Brooke Schultz (Fayetteville, Ark.) clinched their national title in the women’s 3-meter synchro after completing the finals with 287.40 points. All four divers also secured spots on Team USA for next month’s FINA Diving World Cup.
Bromberg and Schultz, who secured second place in the preliminaries, trailed in the finals through the first three rounds. The pair slowly built momentum for themselves and leaped from third to first place in the fourth round, when they dove their must successful dive, a back 2 ½ pike for 72.00 points. The pair held on to the lead in the final round, while Alison Gibson (Austin, Texas) and Krysta Palmer (Carson City, Nev./Reno, Nev.) placed second with 262.20 points with Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minneapolis, Minn.) and Kristen Hayden (Hillsborough, N.J./Minneapolis, Minn.) 2.7 points behind at third.
“I think it’s really easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and getting caught up in the environment. We just had to focus on ourselves and our individual dives,” Bromberg said when asked about the close meet. “I know for me, once I take the first step, I try to ignore Brooke and just try to do my own dive.”
Despite being the only competitors of the men’s platform synchro, Johnson and Loschiavo scored 429.18 points in the preliminaries. The pair’s most successful dive of the morning came in the fifth round on a front 4 ½ tuck, which totaled for 91.02 points. In Friday’s finals the World Cup bound duo saw similar success with the front 4 ½ tuck matching the 91.02 score.
Johnson, who competed in the 2014 FINA World Cup in Shanghai, China, said, “I think I’m just excited to see the culture and the area. I’ve been to Shanghai and I’ve been to Shantou (and) Beijing, but I’ve never been to Guangzhou or Wuhan. I don’t know what to expect, but I took Mandarin in high school. I’m really fascinated by the Chinese culture and we’re close friends with the Chinese divers as well, so it should just be fun to be in their territory.”
The World Cup marks the first World Cup competition for both Schultz and Loschiavo and will be both of their first trips to China. “I’m excited about seeing something completely new and I love exploring, so this should be great.” Loschiavo said.
The 2018 USA Diving Senior National Championships is part of the 2018 Team USA Summer Champions Series, presented by Xfinity. The champions series showcases numerous Olympic sports throughout the season, highlighting the year-round quest of Team USA athletes to compete at the Olympic Games.
The National Championships continue Saturday, May 19 with finals for women’s platform and men’s 3-meter. Saturday’s women’s platform will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. Central Time on NBC and the NBC Sports App. The men’s platform final will be held at noon Central Time on Sunday, May 20 and also will be streamed live on NBC and the NBC Sports App.