Cardinell, McCrory lead U.S. national diving championships
Cassandra Cardinell and Nick McCrory led the women’s and men’s 10-meter platform semifinals on Friday night in the U.S. national diving championships at Pasadena's Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.
Cardinell scored 333.50 points and scored six 8.5s on her first dive, a back armstand with two somersaults and 1-1/2 twists. Olympian Laura Wilkinson finished second in the semifinals with 323.10 points.
Wilkinson competed even though members of the Beijing-bound Olympic team automatically advanced to Sunday's finals. Wilkinson competed in order to practice her toughest dive, a backward 2-1/2 somersault with 2 -1/2 twists from the pike position.
Wilkinson hadn’t completed that dive, which carries a 3.8 degree of difficulty, in competition since 2006. She earned marks of mostly 5.5s.
"It’s actually been going a little better than that in practice,” she said. She's the only woman in the world who performs the dive in competition.
"I got a little nervous and didn’t quite do the right takeoff," Wilkinson said. "It’s kind of good to get it off in a meet and see how it goes so the next time I do it, maybe I’ll be a little more relaxed.”
In the men’s semifinals, McCrory scored 483.40 points and leads Matt Cooper by more than 75 points. McCrory earned three 9.5s on his inward 3-1/2 tuck, and scored 9s and 9.5s on two other dives. Cooper finished Friday with 407.40 points. Daniel Frebel was third with 400.15, and Landon Marzullo was fourth with 384.05.
-- Greg Johnson
Photo: Nick McCrory competes in the men's 10-meter platform semifinals at the National Diving Championships at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena on Friday. Credit: Reed Saxon/Associated Press