COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 7. OLYMPIANS Christina Loukas and David Boudia each won a pair of national titles and earned spots on the FINA World Cup Team on Sunday at the USA Diving Winter National Championships.
Loukas won titles on 3-meter and synchronized 3-meter, and Boudia claimed wins on 10-meter and synchronized 10-meter.
Joining them on the World Cup Team will be Duke teammates Abby Johnston (Upper Arlington, Ohio) and Nick McCrory (Chapel Hill, N.C.), who finished second in the individual 3-meter and 10-meter contests, respectively.
Loukas' two wins give her seven career national titles, highlighted by her first individual title on 3-meter. She scored 721.90 points to come through with the win after finishing second at nationals three other times. Loukas trailed Johnston by 2.35 points heading into the final round but scored 78 points on her last dive, a front 2 ½ with a twist, to claim the title. Johnston finished second at 709.25, with Olympian Kelci Bryant (Chatham, Ill.) close behind at 706.85.
"I'm really excited I finally pulled it through and got my first title on 3-meter," Loukas said. "Because it was also a World Cup selection, there was more pressure to dive well in the semifinals and finals, so every point mattered."
Loukas and Bryant later paired together for their competitive debut as a 3-meter synchro team, winning the national title with 324.60 points.
With two wins Sunday, Boudia now has 10 national titles. He picked up his third individual title by dominating the men's platform competition with 1062.85 points, scoring more than 90 points on four of his six dives in the finals.
"Training's been going really well, and I was on today," Boudia said. "I was blessed with some talent today against some really good divers."
The story, though, was McCrory's comeback. He was solidly in second place – more than 60 points ahead of third – after two rounds, but failed his third dive. He dropped to fourth place and found himself 23.95 points out of the second spot.
He responded with nine 10s on his next two dives – five on his back 3 ½ tuck and four on his reverse 3 ½ tuck – to head into the final round just 3.05 points out of second. He then scored 91.80 points on his back 2 ½ with 2 ½ twists to secure his World Cup spot with a final score of 946.45, just ahead of Harrison Jones (Spring, Texas), who took third at 944.10.
"It was awesome to see Nick come back from that failed dive," Boudia said. "It'll be exciting to see what happens at the World Cup."
Boudia also paired with Thomas Finchum (Indianapolis, Ind.) for another 10-meter synchro title, this time with 453.21 points. It was their seventh title together.
The USA Diving Winter National Championships conclude Monday with 1-meter events for both men and women.
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