MORGANTOWN, W.V. – Olympians Andrew Capobianco (Holly Springs, N.C./Johansen Diving Academy) and Hailey Hernandez (Southlake, Texas/University of Texas) won national titles in men’s 3-meter and women’s 1-meter Friday at the USA Diving Winter National Championships at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park.
Capobianco scored 853.80 points on his two lists of 3-meter dives to win his fourth career national title. He moved into the lead in the last round of the preliminaries after scoring 87.40 points on his front 4 ½ tuck. Capobianco took a 13.8-point lead into the final and then scored more than 80 points on three of his six dives to win by more than 75 points.
“I haven’t competed in a while, so just getting out there and kind of remembering how to compete was really important and just trusting the training I’ve been doing back home,” Capobianco said.
Capobianco’s list in the final included an inward 3 ½ tuck for 86.70 points, a reverse 3 ½ tuck for 82.25 points and a front 4 ½ tuck for 85.50 points. He had the most difficult list of dives in the competition, with every dive on his list carrying a degree of difficulty of 3.4 or higher. He was the only diver in the final to perform a back 3 ½ tuck, one of just three to do the front 4 ½, and one of four divers to do a front 2 ½ with three twists.
“It’s exciting. We definitely came here to try to throw the big guns because that’s what we know we have to do moving forward. It’s exciting to get out there and do it for the first time all together. Hopefully this was a good starting point,” Capobianco said.
Lyle Yost (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Unattached) came away silver with a two-list total of 778.60 points, highlighted by 85.75 points on a reverse 3 ½ tuck. Tyler Downs (Ballwin, Mo./RipFest) scored 773.90 points for bronze.
Hernandez scored 510.60 points over two lists of dives to win her second national title on 1-meter and sixth overall. Her University of Texas teammate Bridget O’Neil (Southlake, Texas) scored 489.60 to take the silver medal, and Mackenzie Crawford (Milan, Mich./Unattached) picked up bronze with 474.35 points.
Hernandez was consistent throughout the competition and was the only diver to score more than 50 points on all five of her dives in the final.
“I just really wanted to go out there and stay confident and go for my dives. That was my goal. I’ve been working hard on 1-meter,” Hernandez said. “There were some great competitors, and I was happy to be challenged by the competition. I’m hoping to continue to improve and get some harder dives.”
Mia Vallee, a Canadian who won bronze on 1-meter at the World Championships this summer, scored 553.35 points over her two lists. International divers are eligible to participate in the USA Diving Winter National Championships but may not earn a medal or place finish.
The USA Diving Winter National Championships continue through Sunday, December 18. Saturday’s competition features women’s 3-meter and men’s 10-meter preliminaries and finals.