For the first time since 2013, the United States will have a diver in the women’s 3-meter final at the FINA World Championships. Sarah Bacon (Indianapolis, Ind./Minneapolis, Minn.) qualified seventh in the semifinals Friday in Budapest, Hungary to advance to Saturday’s final.
The U.S. also medaled in a mixed synchronized diving event for the first time at a World Championships when Delaney Schnell (Tucson, Ariz.) and Carson Tyler (Moultrie, Ga.) won bronze in Friday’s mixed synchronized 10-meter final.
Schnell won her second medal of the 2022 championships, having claimed silver in women’s synchronized 10-meter Thursday with Katrina Young (Shoreline, Wash./Trojan Dive Club). Schnell and Tyler scored 315.90 points to finish third in mixed synchronized 10-meter. China’s Duan Yu and Ren Qian took the gold with 341.16 points, while the Ukrainian pair of Oleksii Sereda and Sofiia Lyskun scored 317.01 to narrowly edge the Americans for silver.
Schnell and Tyler were fourth after two rounds before moving into the bronze medal spot with 69.30 points on their front 3 ½ somersaults pike. They followed up with 79.68 points on their inward 3 ½ somersaults tuck that put them just 0.78 points behind Sereda and Lyskun with one round to go. Schnell and Tyler closed out their list with 73.93 points on their back 2 ½ somersaults with 1 ½ twists, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Ukrainian duo.
“I just kind of went into it knowing I had just gotten a silver. I was just going to enjoy it. There’s not much more I can do than get silver the day before. It definitely took a lot of pressure off, and I know this event is more for fun anyway,” Schnell said.
Schnell wasn’t originally planning to dive the mixed synchro event, but that changed when her partners in the two women’s synchronized events withdrew from the World Championships. Schnell was chosen to fill in for Tarrin Gilliland, who was originally slated to dive with Tyler. Gilliland was also Schnell’s original partner in the women’s 10-meter synchro event before Young stepped in. Schnell is no longer diving in Sunday’s women’s synchronized 3-meter event.
“I was just really happy that I was chosen to do this event, especially since I did lose 3-meter synchro. It was great to fill in for a second event,” Schnell said. “I had a really good time diving with Carson. I think we only did our dives one time on 10-meter, so we just had one full practice on 10-meter together. But knowing that he did synchro with Tarrin, I feel like the timing clicked pretty easy for us.”
It was the best finish by an American team in a mixed synchronized event since the events were added to the World Championships schedule in 2015. The U.S. finished fifth in both mixed synchronized 10-meter synchro and mixed synchronized 3-meter in 2019.
“Coming here, not knowing who my partner was going be, I didn’t really know what to expect. Getting the chance to do synchro with Delaney was just amazing. We just synched very nicely. I had a feeling we could do pretty well, and when it all came together, I was super happy,” Tyler said. “Being able to perform for Team USA was an unreal experience. The atmosphere and hearing the cheers was great. Being able to do this at my first World Championships was such a valuable experience. I’m very thankful for my coaches and Delaney.”
In women’s 3-meter competition, Bacon scored 294.60 to finish seventh in the semifinals, when she earned 61.50 points or higher on four of her five dives. She was third after two rounds but missed a reverse 2 ½ somersaults pike in round three to drop to 10th before climbing back up to seventh. Bacon, who earlier in the week won silver on 1-meter, finished third with 324.60 points in the morning preliminaries. Prior to Bacon, the last U.S. woman to advance to a World Championship 3-meter finals was Maren Taylor, who placed 11th in 2013.
Kristen Hayden (Hillsborough, N.J./Johansen Diving Academy) also advanced to the women’s 3-meter semifinals and scored 270.30 points to finish 13th, missing the cut for the finals by just one spot. It was the first time since 2011 that the U.S. had two divers advance to the women’s 3-meter semifinals at the World Championships.
Hayden, the first Black diver to represent the United States at a World Championships, scored 54 points or higher on her first four dives in the semifinals, highlighted by 57 points on her back 2 ½ somersaults pike. She was 12th heading into the final round but scored just 49.50 points on her inward 2 ½ somersaults pike in the final round, missing the cut for the final by just 1.70 points. Hayden advanced to the semifinals with a strong showing in the preliminaries when she finished fifth with 302 points and scored 57 points or higher on all five dives.
Diving events at the FINA World Championships continue through July 3. In addition to Bacon in the women’s 3-meter final, Saturday’s competition also features men’s 10-meter preliminaries and semifinals with Zach Cooper (Greenwood, Ind./University of Miami) and Josh Hedberg (Noblesville, Ind./Indiana International School of Diving) representing the United States.