By Justin Wilcock
ST. PETERS, Mo., June 8. 2000 OLYMPIAN Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif.) got off to a good start in the men’s 3-meter springboard event at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving, placing first after the semifinals with a score of 678.03 points. Since scores from the preliminaries and semifinals carry over to the finals, Dumais is in a strong position to make his second U.S. Olympic Team.
Not far behind Dumais is the University of Tennessee’s Phillip Jones (Lexington, Ky.) and Dumais’ teammate Justin Wilcock (Smithfield, Utah). Jones is currently in second place, trailing Dumais by 13 points with the score of 665.31 points. Wilcock is only one point behind Jones with the score of 664.38 points. Both Dumais and Wilcock train at the USA Diving Centralized Training Center in The Woodlands, Texas.
The men’s 3-meter springboard final will take place on Friday, June 11. The first place finisher in the event will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team. The second place finisher may also be nominated to the Team, depending on the results of Wednesday’s men’s synchronized 3-meter final. The official Team selection process for men’s platform is as follows:
1. The winner of an individual event will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team.
2. Second place in an individual event at the Trials will be nominated if he/she is also a nominee for the synchronized event at that height.
3. Second place in an individual event at the Trials will be nominated if the winner of that individual event is a nominee for the synchronized event at that height.
4. The highest placing synchronized nominee in an individual event will be nominated if the second place diver is not nominated per 2 and 3 above.
ON HITTING HIS TOE ON A DIVE. “It was my last optional, reverse 2 1⁄2 with 1 1⁄2 twist pike. I ended up a little bit back on the board and I got it going really well and I thought I was perfectly fine, I didn’t think I was close to the board at all. I came out and just nicked my toe a little bit. It didn’t affect me on the dive. I ended up straight up and down. Its just the judges heard it and had to deduct for it.”
ON THE COMPETITION TODAY AND WHERE HE IS IN IT. “I was a little nervous starting off—anyone would be nervous starting off at the Olympic Trials, but I felt really relaxed today going into each dive. I wasn’t thinking about anything. I was just going up there and doing my thing. I haven’t been that consistent in a long time. I’m normally pretty consistent, but it’s never around the scores that I was doing today. I’ve been training really well. I came into this meet ready and I’m just real excited right now because I’m in a position to do well and I just want to keep going.”
ON THE STRENGTH OF HIS OPTIONAL DIVES. “Optionals are by far my strength. My requireds have been struggling a lot, but they’ve actually gotten a lot better preparing for these Olympic Trials. I’ve really been working hard on them and I did a really good job for myself today on my requireds. Now I’m looking forward to optionals. That’s what I love. I love spinning. That’s my favorite thing to do.”
ON HIS MENTALITY GOING INTO THE 2000 TRIALS VERSUS THE 2004 TRIALS. In 2000 “I was the youngest diver in the competition and I really didn’t have a set goal for myself. I really just wanted to go in there and dive well and be consistent. My goal was to make the finals because at that point I was so young I was never a threat to all the other divers, but coming into this one, I knew I had a chance and I knew I was up there competing with all the top guys. I came in kind of the same way. I just want to land on my head and be consistent. I’ve trained as hard as I could. I have no doubts in my mind that I am more ready for this meet than I have ever been. I just want to go out and have some fun and just let it all happen.”
ON DIVING IN THE SYNCHRO. “Myself and my teammate (Jevon Tarantino) were first alternate on the synchro and we just found out that we can actually dive now because a team pulled out. We got to make some decisions on whether we’re going to actually dive or just forego it since we haven’t practiced it that much. My guess is that we will actually be in that contest tomorrow.”
ON THE DIVES. “I enjoy doing voluntaries. I’m good at them. I have confidence in them. When it comes to actually doing optionals, these dives, even though they are hard and technical dives, they are not spinning and they are not flipping so much. You just show off the dives and if you can do that you’re going to get good scores.”
ON HIS PERFORMANCE TODAY. “ I felt alright. I feel flat. I didn’t get up for this contest like I needed to. This is Olympic Trials and I should be juiced. I’ve been waiting for this all year and it also hits me that I’ve been waiting for the Olympics all year. That’s my goal. This is a stepping-stone to get there and unfortunately, I didn’t tune to the right channel today. I am not so much frustrated about my diving, I’m frustrated about that because if I could turn it around, my diving would have been even better.”
ON HIS COMPETITION. “Right now I’m competing against myself. My goal today was to do a good job what I was capable of doing at that point in time and see where I ended up. My coach went up to me and said ‘Hey, you know what the difference between you and the rest of the competition…you’re not diving what you are capable of diving. You’re here not to lose and everybody else is here to win.’ And it’s completely true. There have been practices where I’ve had more juice than I had in that meet. And that is my problem. That’s not anybody else’s problem and I have to figure it out.”
ON THE SYNCHRO. “My brother (Justin Dumais) is there and we’re going to have some fun together. Whenever we dive together we try to have some fun. And then you communicate with someone who is close to you to do well and my brother wants me to do well so that’s going to help us stay in the moment and stay juiced up to do what we are capable of doing.”
ABOUT THE OLYMPIC TRIALS CONTEST. “These meets aren’t always competitions. They are like shows. This Olympic Trials, you’re trying to show the judges that you are good enough to be on the team. Everybody out there is a good enough competitor whether they say so or not. They can do the dives. They have all hit their dives at one point or another and putting them together in a competition. Everybody can do that. But if they have fun and make it a show and show the judges that they can do it, then it’s going to be tough.”
–Courtesy USA Diving