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Diving: Wilkinson Advances To Platform Finals As Top Seed -- June 26, 2003 USA Diving

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 26. LAURA Wilkinson (Woodlands, Texas), the 2000 Olympic gold medalist on platform at the Games in Sydney, advances to Saturday's final as the No. 1 seed at the 2003 Speedo National Diving Championships in Indianapolis.

Wilkinson, who will compete on the board at the World Championships July 13-20, in Barcelona, Spain, scored 499.11 points in the semifinal.

The women's platform event began with 30 divers. Following the quarterfinals, the field was cut to 18. The top eight will compete on Saturday.

Joining Wilkinson in the final are Sara Hildebrand (St. Paul, Minn.), Trisha Tumlinson (Spring, Texas), Cassandra Cardinell (Loudonville, N.Y.), Natalia Diea (Columbus, Ohio), Regan Gosnell (Potomac, Mary.), Erin Sones (Pasadena, Calif.) and Nicole Pohorenec (Winter Springs, Fla.).

2000 Olympian Troy Dumais battled 30 other divers to win the men's 3-meter springboard semifinal. Dumais (Ventura, Calif.) bettered second place diver, 2000 Olympian Mark Ruiz, by 66 points to secure the top spot. Also a member of the World Championship team, Dumais ended the day with 647.13 points.

As with the women, the top eight men advance Saturday's final.

Joining Dumais in the final are Ruiz (Orlando, Fla.), Caesar Garcia (Baton Rouge, La.), Daniel Croaston (Champlin, Minn.), Jevon Tarantino (Boca Raton, Fla.), Louie Gagnet (Beverly Hills, Calif.), Justin Wilcock (Smithfield, Utah) and Andrew Bradley (Fairfax, Va.).

Thursday's action features the women's 3-meter springboard semifinal and men's 10-meter platform semifinal. The action begins at 2 p.m. and the events will run simultaneously.

The 2003 Speedo National Diving Championships run through Sunday, June 29, at the IU Natatorium on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Approximately 125 divers from across the U.S., including five 2000 Olympians are competing for roster spots on the 2003 National Team and Pan American Games Team.