Texas ex divers Wilkinson and Troy Dumais win U.S. National titles
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. -- Former University of Texas diving NCAA champions and 2004 Olympians Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif.) and Laura Wilkinson (Spring, Texas) tuned up for the Athens Olympic Games next month by winning titles Sunday at the U.S. National Diving Championships. Wilkinson, who is the defending Olympic gold medalist on the 10-meter platform and who will represent the USA in that event once again in Athens, took the women's 10-meter platform championship for the third year in a row and for the fifth year in the last six, defeating her closest rival by more than 50 points.
Along with Wilkinson and Dumais, Texas senior-to-be Nicole Pohorenec (Winter Spring, Fla.) earned U.S. Diving National Team spots. Pohorenec and her partner, Emily Bouck were second Sunday in the sychronized platform finals finishing as runnerup after leading the competition after the preliminary round. Pohorenec and Bouck totaled 234.15 points and were runnerup to 2004 Olympic team members Sara Hildebrand and Cassandra Cardinell who won the synchronized 10-meter platform title with 287.22 points. Pohorenec also secured a National Diving Team spot in the platform, placing fifth in that event with a total of 435.60 points.
Dumais won the men's 3-meter springboard by almost 100 points over his nearest challenger, as he clinched his third straight U.S. title in the event. Dumais, of Ventura, Calif., beat runner-up Mitchell Richeson 707.07 points to 610.44.
Wilkinson was in third place on the platform after the qualifying rounds Friday, but rallied Sunday, taking the lead after the second of five rounds. She then recorded marks of no worse than 8.0 from each of the judges on her last three dives.
Wilkinson led Sara Hildebrand 578.37 to 523.53. Brittany Viola, the 17-year-old daughter of former Minnesota Twins pitcher Frank Viola, was third with 492.24 points, followed by Cardinell (454.38) and Pohorenec.
Dumais and his brother, Justin (who spent his senior year at UT as a diver) later on Sunday won the U.S. National synchronized 3-meter springboard championship. The Dumais brothers easily pulled away from the competition, registering 341.88 points to best runnerups Brian Mariano and Marc Carlton who finished with 260.88 points.
Troy Dumais will represent the USA in both the 3-meter and 3-meter synchronized diving in Athens. His synchronized diving partner is his brother, Justin. Troy Dumais was sixth in the 2000 Olympics on the 3-meter board.