Kelci Bryant, Ariel Rittenhouse Win Silver in Women’s Three-Meter Synchro Diving; Mexico, Cuba Win Golds on Offer

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 29. ARIEL Rittenhouse became a second-generation Pan American Games medalist when she teamed with Kelci Bryant to win the silver medal in synchronized three-meter diving in wet and windy conditions Saturday.

Rittenhouse and Bryant scored 305.10 points, less than three points behind Mexico's Paola Espinosa and Laura Sanchez, who finished with 307.80 points to win the synchro gold a day after claiming the top two spots in the individual 3-meter contest. Canada's Meaghan Benfeito and Kelly MacDonald were third at 276.60.

With the silver medal, the 16-year-old Rittenhouse joined her mom and uncle as a Pan Am Games medalist. Her mother, Sharon (Finneran) Rittenhouse, won a swimming gold in the 400 IM in Sao Paulo in 1963, and her uncle Mike Finneran dove to a gold medal on three-meter at the 1971 Games.

"It feels great. I'm so happy to be following a family tradition. I've had so fun much here. I'm having the time of my life," Rittenhouse said. "I felt good out there. It's a little disappointing that we missed out on gold by about two points, but overall, it's been fantastic."

The three-meter synchro medal was also significant because it meant team leader Jim Stillson's goal for the Pan Am Games was met.

"It was not stated, but one of my goals for this trip was to have every member of this team come home with a medal, and they did. That says a lot," team leader Jim Stillson said. "These guys stepped up under absolutely horrendous conditions. It was windy, it was freezing. These guys are troopers."

Rain fell all day Saturday, and the mountains that provide a natural backdrop behind Parque Aquatico were nowhere to be seen.

Bryant had already won bronze on three-meter on Friday and battled through the elements Saturday to add silver to her collection.

"It was really tough with the wind and the weather. I've never dove in anything like this before, but we fought hard and did the best we could," said Bryant, who trains with Rittenhouse at USA Diving's National Training Center, an indoor facility in Indianapolis.

Men's 10-meter finals also were held Saturday. Cuba's Jose Guerra received at least one 10.0 mark on each of his final three dives, including five 10s in round five, to secure the gold with 527.40 points. Mexico's Rommel Pacheco was second at 510.15, and Canada's Alexandre Despatie scored 505.80 points for bronze.

The U.S. finished the Pan Am Games with seven medals – two gold, two silver and three bronze.

Special thanks to USA Swimming for contributing this report.

Women's synchronized three-meter final
1. Laura Sanchez/Paola Espinosa, MEX, 307.80
2. Ariel Rittenhouse/Kelci Bryant, USA, 305.10
3. Meaghan Benfeito/Kelly MacDonald, CAN, 276.60

Men's 10-meter final
1. Jose Guerra, CUB, 527.40
2. Rommel Pacheco, MEX, 510.15
3. Alexandre Despatie, CAN, 505.80

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