A day after pairing for silver in women’s synchronized 3-meter, Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minneapolis, Minn.) and Brooke Schultz (Fayetteville, Ark.) won gold and silver in the individual 1-meter contest Friday at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. Also on Friday, Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) and Ben Bramley (Wellesley, Mass./West Lafayette, Ind.) finished fourth in men’s synchronized 10-meter.
Bacon scored 284.10 points to pick up the 1-meter Pan Am gold after winning silver on the event at the FINA World Championships last month. Schultz finished with 279.45 points and edged Mexico’s Paola Espinosa by 1.15 points for the silver.
With two dives remaining, Bacon was in third place behind Espinosa and Dolores Hernandez, also of Mexico, but was only 5.95 points out of first.
“I knew exactly where I was sitting. I knew how many points I was behind first. I knew exactly what I needed to do on my last two dives to get first,” Bacon said. “My last two dives have a little bit higher DD [degree of difficulty] so that gave me some confidence going into those, plus they are my best dives I typically do.”
She took the lead after scoring 59.80 points on a front 1 ½ with two twists in round four while the two Mexican divers both scored less than 50 points on their dives. Bacon maintained the top spot with another 59.80-point dive, a front 2 ½ pike, in the final round.
“I absolutely saw that door open for me. I dive really well under pressure, but once that door opens, I usually take the opportunity to gain some points or gain some spots up there so that’s what I did,” Bacon said.
Schultz also capitalized in round four. In fifth place with two dives to go, she came through with 62.40 points on a reverse 1 ½ with 1 ½ twists on her fourth dive to move up to second place. She finished off with 57.40 points on an inward 1 ½ pike. Schultz had qualified for the final with ninth place in the preliminaries, so she had to wait for eight divers – including Bacon, Espinosa and Hernandez – to dive before knowing she would walk away with a silver medal.
"It was very close. I didn't realize how close it was until the last round,” Schultz said. "It’s a bit of a relief once you see scores pop up. That waiting - maybe she did, maybe she didn't - you don't really know until the scores pop up so definitely really exciting. It's always interesting to have a close competition."
Johnson and Bramley scored 368.61 points in the men’s 10-meter synchro to miss out on the podium by 7.2 points. Mexico’s Ivan Garcia and Kevin Berlin finished with 431.10 points for the gold, with Canadians Nathan Zsombor-Murray and Vincent Riendeau taking silver with 396.12 points. Brazilians Isaac Nascimento de Souza and Kawan Figueredo Pereira picked up bronze after finishing with 375.81 points.
Johnson and Bramley scored just 56.64 on their inward 3 ½ tuck in round three, which put them sixth with three dives remaining. They climbed to fourth with 71.40 points on a fifth-round reverse 3 ½ tuck before finishing up with 75.84 points on their back 2 ½ with 1 ½ twists.
Diving at the Pan American Games continues through August 5. Amy Cozad Magaña (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz.) will dive in the individual women’s 10-meter event on Saturday. Andrew Capobianco (Holly Springs, N.C./Bloomington, Ind.), who won bronze in the men’s 1-meter contest on Thursday, will pair with Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass./Bloomington, Ind.) in Saturday’s men’s synchronized 3-meter final. The two also will compete in the individual 3-meter preliminaries on Saturday.