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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Loukas wins Olympic spot

US Diving Trials

For the third straight Summer Olympics, IU’s women’s diving team will be represented on the boards. But more importantly, for the first time, senior Christina Loukas’ childhood Olympic dreams are coming true.\nThis weekend, Loukas officially qualified for the Beijing Olympic games by taking the top spot at the U.S. Olympic diving trials in Indianapolis. She topped the second place diver, Nancilea Foster, by nearly 90 points.\n“I still can’t believe it actually happened.” Loukas said. \nLoukas began her domination of the boards early in the week. On Wednesday, she slipped into the top spot during the preliminary round and never looked back. She was the only diver to score more than 60 points on her five preliminary dives.\nAfter scoring 370.80 points in the morning session to take the lead, she continued her momentum on into the semi-final round where she finished with a score of 729.85.\nThe semi-final round was a remarkable one for Loukas, who averaged a score of 9.0 on her last five dives. She earned the first 9.5 mark of the evening on a forward 2 1/2 somersault 1 twist pike, as well as three scores of 9.0 and three scores of 8.5.\nLoukas also received 25 bonus points for her performance in the 2008 World Cup in Beijing, which took place in February, where she finished fourth. “Having been in China for the World Cup will make (the Olympics) much more comfortable,” Loukas said. “I’m just really excited to go.”\nAlthough she is already guaranteed a spot on the Olympic roster, Loukas will still attend the Olympic team selection camp in July, where she hopes to be selected to participate in 3-meter synchronized diving as well. She will be diving with Amanda Miller, a Purdue University graduate.\nFormer Hoosier diver Cassandra Cardinell also had a successful run at the trials. She ended day one in fifth place on the platforms, but managed to work her way into third, only 114.5 points out of first, by the semi-final round. Hoosiers Lindsay Weigle and Amy Korthauer went into the final round in ninth and twelfth place, respectively.\nCardinell participated in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where she and fellow Hoosier Sara Hildebrand participated in the synchronized 10-meter platform event after winning the title at the Olympic trials. They finished seventh.

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