DALLAS- 2016 Olympian Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Tallahassee, Fla.) and Andrew Capobianco (Holly Springs, N.C./Bloomington, Ind.) were rewarded national titles in women’s platform and men’s 3-meter Saturday at the USA Diving Senior National Championships at SMU’s Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center. Young and Capobianco also earned spots on Team USA for the upcoming FINA World Cup, with Tarrin Gilliland (Liberty Hill, Texas) and Olympic silver medalist Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Bloomington, Ind.) also earning World Cup spots on those events. Team USA will be competing next month at the 2018 FINA Diving World Cup in Wuhan, China.
Young scored 359 points in the final to edge Gilliland by 2.60 points as the Olympian won her first national title. Gilliland led after the first two rounds but a mistake in the third round dropped her out of the top spot. Young secured the lead and was able to capitalize with an inward 3 ½ tuck for 76.80 points in round four. She followed with 75.20 points on a back 2 ½ somersault with 1 ½ twists.
“I want every dive to be good as it possibly can be, so I’m not really thinking about (saving my last best two dives for last). I really felt comfortable going into the last two rounds because I do feel confident on those dives,” Young said.
Gilliland’s last two dives- an inward 3 ½ tuck and a back 2 ½ somersault with 1 ½ twists-, each earned 81.60 points but it wasn’t enough to catch Young. 2016 Olympian Amy Cozad Magaña (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished third with 316.55 points.
Capobianco scored 446.90 points to win a close contest with Hixon. The duo battled back-and-forth for the national title until the fifth round, with Hixon leading by 9.8 points. Capobianco’s reverse 1 ½ somersaults with 3 ½ twists scored 89.25 points and was the turning point of the finals.
“That’s my favorite dive, so I was just really happy I hit it in the (final) meet because in the semifinals I kind of missed it, so I was happy to show I can do that dive well,” Capobianco said.
Hixon placed second with 444.55 points, only 2.35 shy of his collegiate teammate. Briadam Herrera (Miami, Fla.) finished at third with 415.65 points.
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 Sunday, May 20, with finals for men’s platform and women’s 3-meter. Sunday’s men’s platform will be broadcast live at noon Central Time on NBC and the NBC Sports App.