Those without the means to take a plane trip to London this summer can get a taste of Olympics action when the U.S. Diving Trials come to Federal Way this week.
Underway at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, the Olympics qualifier will feature men’s and women’s divers in the 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform events, including men’s 3-meter and platform synchronized divisions, both of which send only the top team to London.
NBC Sports (Comcast channel 34) begins its coverage as the men’s 10-meter semifinals kicks off Tuesday at 9 p.m.
David Boudia and three-time Olympian Troy Dumais headline a group of divers who have yet to win Olympic medals. At 32, Dumais is vying to become the only U.S. male diver to make four Olympics when he competes in the three-meter men’s springboard. A 2010 World Cup silver medalist in the 3-meter synchronized division, Dumais is the oldest diver at this year’s Trials.
Considered the favorite in the 10-meter platform entering the event, Boudia won a silver medal at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai. An Olympian in 2008, he placed 10th in a disappointing performance that extended what has become a 12-year medal drought for U.S. divers. Boudia will dive with 10-meter synchronized partner Nick McCrory this week as the pair try to reserve their spot at this year’s Summer Olympics.
A junior-to-be at Duke, McCrory won a gold medal at the 2011 U.S. National Championships competing in the 10-meter platform. He and Boudia shot out to an early lead in Sunday night’s prelims and semifinals by taking a commanding 114.84 point lead.
The top two finishers in the 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform divisions will earn a trip to London.
Boudia and McCrory will also compete in the 3-meter men’s synchro competition.
As the only former Olympians in the women’s 3-meter springboard, Kelci Bryant and Christina Loukas headline a women’s group trying to displace a decade-long run of dominance by the Chinese in their division.
After Sunday night’s prelims and semifinals, Bryant and 3-meter synchro partner combined for 637.80 points to take a slight lead over Kassidy Cook and Loukas.
The women’s platform competition features Brittany Viola. The daughter of former MLB Cy Young Award Winner Frank Viola, the former NCAA title-winner at the University of Miami can cap a decade competing with the U.S. National team with her first Olympics appearance.
The Trials consist of three rounds. After preliminary and semifinal rounds Sunday through Wednesday, the top divers will advance to the finals in their division. Following the only round of cuts, the finals run Thursday through Sunday.
Click here for U.S. Diving’s full schedule.