Sarah Bacon, Brandon Loschiavo Cap Nationals with Titles

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Sarah Bacon, Brandon Loschiavo Cap Nationals with Titles

Sarah Bacon and Brandon Loschiavo wrapped up the 2023 USA Diving Nationals with titles to earn trips to the World Championships.

Bacon won the women’s 3-meter event. Loschiavo prevailed in the men’s 10-meter platform. The runners-up in the events – respectively Hailey Hernandez and Max Flory – also earned spots at Worlds in Fukuoka, Japan. Only Flory hasn’t already sealed a trip to Worlds during the preceding six days of competition at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown West Virginia.

Bacon, who won women’s 3-meter synchro with Kassidy Cook, posted the high score of 636.95 points across her two lists. She edged Hernandez, the University of Texas diver who won the 1-meter crown, by exactly 34 points. Krysta Palmer earned the bronze medal.

“I try to not let that get into my head,” Bacon told USA Diving. “I knew after semifinals I had about an eight-point lead coming into finals, so I just told myself everything starts over. An eight-point lead is not much. If you try and focus too much on that then it’s going to mess you up, so I just start over from scratch. My body knows what to do with my dives and I just go out there and perform the best that I can. There are still some things I can work on when it comes to my diving, but overall I’m very happy with how I did.”

Bacon led by only eight points with two rounds of finals left but saved her two highest-scoring dives for last. She tallied 70.50 point sin the final round, a front two-and-a-half with one twist, to safely get across the line.

Palmer, with a higher degree of difficulty on the final round, trailed Hernandez by 7.1 points. She applied the pressure by scoring 64.60 on a front two-and-a-half with two twists, but Hernandez safely landed her two-and-a-half for 63 points to earn a second event at Worlds.

Loschiavo claimed a championship on the same night as Cook and Bacon, teaming with Jordan Rzepka to win men’s platform synchro. The Purdue diver continued a strong week for the Boilermakers by scoring 950.90 over his two lists, comfortably ahead of Flory’s 914.55. Joshua Hedberg finished third.

Loschiavo was third after Monday’s semifinals but took charge in his first two rounds, topping 81 points on both. He scored 94.50 points on his fifth round, 22 more than Flory and 50 more than Hedberg, to blow open a close competition. The three divers had been separated by fewer than seven points.

“I kind of wanted to feel that heat a little bit,” Loschiavo said. “I started the first cumulative round pretty badly, and so I wanted to lock in and feel like I was behind the whole time. I thrive under that pressure, and so I liked the challenge. The whole goal was just shutting my mind off for every single dive. I know how to do every single one, so putting all the pieces together was my goal.”

USA Diving National Championships

Night 7

Women’s 3-meter final
  1. Sarah Bacon, Unattached, 636.95
  2. Hailey Hernandez, Longhorn Aquatics, 602.95
  3. Krysta Palmer, Nevada Diving Club, 597.45
  4. Kristen Hayden, Johansen Diving Academy, 557.00
  5. Avery Worobel, The Indiana International School of Diving, 542.95
  6. Samantha Pickens, City of Midland, 542.05
  7. Bridget O’Neil, Longhorn Aquatics, 541.80
  8. Joslyn Oakley, Unattached, 516.00
  9. Carolina Sculti, Crown Valley Divers, 501.05
  10. Lily Witte, Wolverine Diving, 499.00
  11. Lauren Burch, Unattached, 481.50
  12. Molly Gray, Stanford Diving, 442.00
Men’s 10-meter final
  1. Brandon Loschiavo, Purdue Diving, 950.90
  2. Maxwell Flory, University of Miami, 914.55
  3. Joshua Hedberg, The Indiana International School of Diving, 881.40
  4. Jordan Rzepka, Purdue Diving, 815.80
  5. Carson Tyler, Johansen Diving Academy, 786.55
  6. Tyler Wills, The Indiana International School of Diving, 763.35
  7. Clayton Chaplin, Unattached, 742.80
  8. Kaden Springfield, The Indiana International School of Diving, 678.55
  9. Elisha Dees, Gator Dive Club, 620.05
  10. Samuel Flory, Unattached, 585.75
  11. Misha Andriyuk, Stanford Diving, 578.90
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