NCAA Men’s Championships: Lyle Yost Risks It, Reaps Reward of 1-Meter Crown

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

NCAA Men’s Championships: Lyle Yost Risks It, Reaps Reward of 1-Meter Crown

By the fifth round of 1-meter diving Thursday night, Lyle Yost figured his originally scheduled sixth and final dive wasn’t going to cut it.

That one carried a 2.6 degree of difficulty. Beneath the “in case of emergency break glass” sign in his program was a forward two-and-a-half twister. And the way that Stanford’s Jack Ryan and Andrew Capobianco of Indiana were hitting around him, the top seed out of prelims knew he needed to go big.

“It’s kind of a high-risk, high-reward situation,” Yost said. “It’s a really difficult dive, but if you hit it, it can get you a lot of points.”

Yost nailed it, needed 71 points and getting 75 to tally 443.95 and get the win at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.

He was pretty confident when he hit the water that he’d done what he needed.

“It’s a really hard dive. It felt good,” he said. “There’s no way to know until the judges put their sores in, but I came out and the crowd was going wild and something felt right.”

Capobianco was second for the second straight year with 439.45, and Ryan finished third in 429.25.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Yost was fifth last year and sixth in 2021. His is the first 1-meter men’s title for an Ohio State diver since Patrick Jeffrey in 1988 and the first men’s diving title of any kind since 2016 (Zhipeng Zeng on platform in 2016.) Ohio State won 27 titles on 1-meter from 1937-75 as one of the earliest dominant diving programs in the nation.

“Ohio State is a legendary program, swimming and diving both,” Yost said. “It’s part of the reason that I chose Ohio State, and to become part of that legacy, it’s really special.”

The leading trio separated from the pack early in the final. Yost led through five rounds, though Ryan applied pressure in the fifth with a reverse 2.5 that scored 9s for the Stanford sophomore. Capobianco then nailed an inward two-and-a-half in the sixth and final round to the tune of 9s and a score of 86.70 points to jump past Ryan.

That triggered the change from Yost, but no panic, as a diver who wants to know what the others around him are doing.

“I knew that it was close, that Andrew had a 3.4 as his last dive, and I knew a 2.6 wasn’t going to cut it,” he said. “The only way that was going to be competed is if I had a sizeable lead. It was pretty much decided as soon as the fifth round was over that it was going to go with the big guns.”

Anton Down-Jenkins, who was eighth last year, sat seventh after four rounds but surged to finish fourth in 398.45. USC’s Shangfei Wang was fifth. Texas’ Nick Harris finished seventh, between the Texas A&M duo of Victor Povzner and Allen Bottego.

Miami’s Maxwell Flory won the consolation final with a score of 384.95 after the Miami senior had been just 15th in prelims. Texas’ Brendan McCourt gave the Longhorns two scorers, though he slid from 10th in prelims to 14th overall. He was a spot ahead of Florida’s Leonardo Garcia, who had been 11th in prelims.

Three of last year’s championships finalists didn’t make it back this year: Jonathan Suckow of Columbia went from fourth last year to 22nd; Indiana’s Quinn Henninger, sixth as a freshman, finished 30th; Bjorn Markentin of Arizona slid from seventh last year to 36th in prelims.

Thursday was all about Yost, though, who rose to the occasion in the biggest moment.

“For me, it’s fuel for the fire,” he said. “If I see Andrew and Jack both hit awesome dives before me, that gets me pumped up to get up there and do the next best thing. That stakes are higher, and that’s when I am at my best, when the lights are bright.”

Event 6  Men 1 mtr Diving
         Meet: M 473.75  3/28/2013 Kristian Ipsen, Stanford
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
                       === Championship Final ===                        
  1 Yost, Lyle             SR Ohio St            392.95     443.95   20  
  2 Capobianco, Andrew     SR Indiana            391.00     439.45   17  
  3 Ryan, Jack             SO Stanford           386.70     429.45   16  
  4 Down Jenkins, Anton    SR UNC                372.50     398.45   15  
  5 Wang, Shangfei         SO USC                366.80     391.70   14  
  6 Povzner, Victor        JR TAMU               376.30     390.00   13  
  7 Harris, Nicholas       FR Texas              377.95     381.80   12  
  8 Bottego, Allen         SO TAMU               367.70     330.50   11  
                        === Consolation Final ===                        
  9 Flory, Maxwell         SR Miami              345.25     384.95    9  
 10 Abadia Garcia, Adrian  SO LSU                355.35     376.15    7  
 11 Zawadzki, Noah         SR VT                 352.95     373.50    6  
 12 Matthews, Jack         SO Ohio St            361.35     358.20    5  
 13 Duperre, Noah          JR Texas              352.70     357.10    4  
 14 McCourt, Brendan       JR Texas              360.70     348.75    3  
 15 Garcia, Leonardo       SR Florida            356.20     328.15    2  
 16 Reed, Dylan            SR Pittsburgh         345.10     322.10    1  
                  Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 6                  
  1. California                        150   2. Texas                             141
  3. Arizona St                        126   4. NC State                        119.5
  5. Florida                           105   6. Indiana                            81
  7. Stanford                           68   8. Tennessee                          57
  9. Texas A&M                          44  10. Louisville                         43
 10. Auburn                             43  12. Georgia                            36
 13. Virginia Tech                      30  14. Ohio St                          29.5
 15. Virginia                           27  16. Alabama                            26
 17. Lsu                                22  18. Wisconsin                          19
 19. Notre Dame                         17  20. UNC                                15
 21. Southern California                14  22. Miami                               9
 23. Missouri                            6  24. Princeton                           4
 24. Michigan                            4  26. Georgia Tech                        3
 27. Pittsburgh                          1
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