GARDEN GROVE, California, October 3. THOMAS Finchum was honored as USA Diving's Athlete of the Year at the United States Aquatic Sports awards banquet Saturday night.
Finchum, 17, won four national championships and 10 international medals throughout the course of the 2007 competitive season. He won a pair of national titles on both 10-meter and synchronized 10-meter with partner David Boudia. Internationally, Finchum won a gold medal on 10-meter at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix and scored a career-high for a silver at the Canada Cup.
He also won eight medals in 10-meter synchro with Boudia, including golds at the Pan American Games and AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix and a bronze at the FINA World Championships.
Finchum's coach, John Wingfield, received the Benjamin Foundation Coaches Performance Award, presented to coaches whose divers medal in the Olympic Games or World Championships. He received $2,500 from the Benjamin Foundation for coaching Finchum and Boudia to the bronze medal at Worlds.
Two coaches from The Woodlands Diving Academy also were honored. Ken Armstrong was named the recipient of the Mike Peppe Award, presented annually to the top senior diving coach. Eight Woodlands divers placed in the top six at the Kaiser Permanente National Championships, and two of Armstrong's divers finished in the top six at the World Championships.
Bob Gunter, also of The Woodlands Diving Academy, received the Moose Moss Age Group Coach of the Year award after his team won nine golds, four silvers and one bronze at the Speedo Junior National Championships.
Todd Smith, who served as USA Diving's executive director for 25 years, was honored with the Glenn McCormick Award, presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the sport of diving.
The Whosam Inc. Awards, presented by legendary diver Sammy Lee, went to divers Cassandra Cardinell and Cassidy Krug and coaches Doe and Julian Krug. The awards recognize commitment to excellence and dedication to the highest physical, mental and spiritual ideals.
Special thanks to USA Diving for contributing this report.