Dukes Nick McCrory held off Thomas Finchum to clinch a second berth to the 2012 Summer Olympics by finishing second behind Purdues David Boudia in the U.S. Team Trials for diving Saturday at King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way.
Staked a 69-point lead entering the mens 10-meter platform finals, McCrory exhibited poise down the stretch of the six-round competition to finish with 1,582.55 points in the most successful event of his young career.
McCrory buried Finchum in the fourth round, one-upping the only challenger to his Olympic berth by executing a nearly perfect reverse 3½ somersault moments after Finchum applied pressure by nailing the same move.
The four international judges awarded McCrory with a 92.40 score to extend his lead to nearly 100 points.
Today I just went into the competition to do my dives like Ive been doing and have fun, he said. I really wasnt looking at his scores or anything like that. I would do my dive and then kind of go sit in my little corner and listen to music.
I was keeping it really relaxed and just diving.
He capped his week in style in the fifth round when his back 3 ½ somersault tuck garnered five 10s. The 99.00-point dive produced booming applause from the 2,297 in attendance.
McCrory attributed his late-round composure to countless hours spent acclimating to his Olympic set list.
This is a dive Ive been doing for a long time, he said. I love that dive I wanted to do something exciting today in the finals.
McCrorys attention now turns to the Summer Olympics in London. With opening ceremonies a little more than one month away, McCrory said he feels ready to take his talent to the next level. The U.S. has not won a diving medal in 12 years.
Im going to train really hard and just do what Ive been doing, he said. I think the U.S. has a lot of high goals this summer but we also just really focused on the diving itself. Hopefully Ill be ready for London in a few weeks.