Kaiser Permanente National Diving Championships Come to a Close

STANFORD, California, August 6. THOMAS Finchum's fortune cookie at dinner Saturday night said, "Your hard work will soon pay off." A day later, he won two titles at the Kaiser Permanente National Diving Championships at Stanford's Maas Diving Center.

Finchum scored 498.40 points to win his third individual title on 10-meter, and he paired with David Boudia to claim the 10-meter synchro title with 429.24 points.

Stanford's Cassidy Krug scored 347.10 points to win the women's 3-meter title – her first individual national title, and Kelci Bryant and Ariel Rittenhouse won the women's 3-meter synchro title with 319.80 points.

Finchum all but wrapped up his latest individual title in the fifth round, when six of seven judges awarded him 10s on his back 3 ½. He sealed the win with a 9.5 and four 9.0s on his final dive to beat his synchro partner once again.

"I was feeling pretty good. I missed a couple dives in the middle, but I was happy how I hit those last two dives," Finchum said.

Boudia, the 2006 champion, finished second with 492.10 points. The two have placed first and second at the last five major U.S. meets, with Finchum coming out on top in three of those meets. Together, they have four synchro national titles and have medaled at nine consecutive international meets, including a gold at last week's Pan Am Games.

JJ Kinzbach was third individually with 478.75 points. He was also third in synchro with Daniel Mazzaferro after scoring 369.90 points. Wes Wieser and Sean Moore were second at 385.62.

Krug turned in a consistent effort with five solid dives that allowed her to claim her first title. She led after every round but one and started to break away after the fourth round when she received six 8.5 marks on her reverse 2 ½. She followed up with six 8.0 scores on her last dive to secure the win.

"It's been amazing. I've had a great year. Today I came out with a clear sense of what I wanted. I've struggled during some dives in practice and I was getting nervous, but I really made a commitment to today and it showed. I just went out and did my dives," Krug said. "I was up on the board before my gainer and it was a little windy, and I started thinking – Hey, I train here all the time. I have the home pool advantage."

2007 spring national champion Nancilea Foster was second at 333.65, and Christina Loukas was third with 327.50 points.

Rittenhouse and Bryant, fresh off a silver medal at the Pan Am Games, won their first national title by nearly 30 points, with Krug and Foster taking second at 291.15. Loukas and Amanda Miller were third with 290.10 points.

"It feels great. It's our first summer national title, and it means a lot. We've had some trouble (at other nationals), so we had some motivation. We're really exhausted, but we really wanted to win a national title," Rittenhouse said.

Special thanks to USA Diving for contributing this report.