MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – Hailey Herndandez and Jack Ryan won national titles on 1-meter as competition in the individual events kicked off Saturday at the USA Diving National Championships.
Both divers also earned spots on the U.S. team for this summer’s World Aquatics Championships, as did silver medalists Joslyn Oakley and Lyle Yost.
Hernandez, a 2020 Olympian, scored 530.10 points on two lists of dives to win the women’s 1-meter gold, while Oakley rallied to take silver with 501.60 points. Bridget O’Neil rounded out the medalists with 494.15 points for bronze.
Hernandez led by 18.10 points after the morning preliminaries, but second through fourth place were separated by just 5.95 points with only the top two finishers earning spots on the world team.
Hernandez extended her lead in the finals when she scored 50 points or higher on four of her five dives, including 58.50 points on her front 2 ½ pike for the highest scoring dive by anyone in the contest.
“I’m super excited. It always feels good to be out there and compete. I’m really happy with the results today, and it gives me good confidence heading into 3-meter,” Hernandez said.
It was Hernandez’ third national title on 1-meter and seventh overall.
Oakley was fourth after prelims but moved up to third after the first round of the final when she started off her list with 54 points on an inward 1 ½ pike. She remained in third throughout most of the contest, and ultimately it came down to the final round to decide the spot on the world team.
With one round to go, O’Neil led Oakley by just 0.35 points, and both divers were set to do a front 1 ½ with two twists. Oakley scored 54.60 points, enough to move ahead of O’Neil in the final standings.
Ryan took the men’s 1-meter gold with 776.90 points while Yost finished second with 746.25. Nick Harris took bronze at 726.75.
Ryan carried a 16.2-point lead over second place and was 34.7 points ahead of third after the preliminaries. He maintained his lead with three dives scoring more than 70 points in the final, including a back 2 ½ tuck that scored 72 points.
Ryan had already qualified for the World Championships team in another event after winning mixed synchronized 3-meter earlier in the week.
“Today was good. Prelims were super smooth for me. I felt calm and strong all the way through,” Ryan said. “I was definitely a little shaky in finals. I missed the hurdle on my front 3 ½, but I think I saved it pretty well. The last three dives, I just had to put them down. It feels so good.”
Yost had the highest degree of difficulty in the field, with a total DD of 19.90. Yost had three dives with a DD of 3.3 or higher, and no other diver performed a dive with a DD higher than 3.2. Yost scored 67.65 points on his front 3 ½ pike (3.3 DD) and 66.30 points on his inward 2 ½ pike (3.4 DD).
“We’ve been working all year back at Ohio State in the weight room, and it’s all so I can get those big dives done but still in a graceful and beautiful manner. They’ve come a long way and they still have a long way to go, but I’m really excited about the opportunity to go and showcase these dives on a stage like the World Championships,” Yost said.
The USA Diving National Championships continue through May 24. Sunday’s competition features quarterfinals and semifinals in men’s 3-meter and women’s 10-meter.