With the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Diving Trials well underway at the Weyerhauser Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash., a new generation of current and former IU contenders is proving to be successful.
Led by 2009 graduate Christina Loukas, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, multiple Hoosiers have booked spots in the finals of their events, putting them one step closer to competing in London.
“I’m really happy that we made the finals,” said former IU diver Gabby Agostino, who clinched a spot in the finals for the 3-meter synchronized dive.
“We are not really focused on place going into finals. Rather, (we’re) focused on doing our dives well and what we work on every day in practice.”
Agostino, who recently completed her four-year eligibility at IU in 2012, and former IU and now Virginia Tech diver Logan Kline ended Sunday in sixth place in the 3-meter synchro competition. The duo has 490.20 points, 147.60 points behind the leaders Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant.
Agostino ended last season with three top-six finishes in the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships but missed out on a bid to the NCAA Championships after not recording a top-three finish at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships.
“After my last season at IU not ending the way that I would’ve liked it to, it feels good to be in the finals,” Agostino said. “That was our goal coming into the meet.”
In the same event, Loukas, Agostino’s former teammate, currently sits in second place with partner Kassidy Cook. The duo trails Johnston and Bryant by only 6.51 points.
The final round of the women’s 3-meter synchro is Thursday evening, when divers will have one final chance to add to the cumulative score they built over the previous rounds.
The pair with the highest cumulative score after the finals will advance to the Olympics.
If Loukas fails to advance in that event, however, she is currently in line to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in the 3-meter individual springboard dive.
In that event, the top two finishers make the Olympics.
After Tuesday’s preliminaries and semifinals, Loukas sits in second place with 679.65 points, 39.20 points behind leader Cassidy Krug and 26.40 points ahead of Cook, who is in third.
“I was really happy with the semifinals. I think I handled everything well,” Loukas said in an interview with USA Diving. “I was playing it safe this morning. I was more aggressive and confident this evening, and it worked. I’m going to stick to that for finals.”
Also advancing to the finals of an individual event was former IU diver Zac Nees, who qualified in 12th place in the men’s platform dive. Nees was the 2012 Big Ten Diver of the Year before deciding to transfer to University of Miami (Florida) for his senior year.
The finals for the men’s platform dive will be broadcast live nationally at 4 p.m. Saturday on NBC.
Loukas’ event, in addition to the men’s 3-meter dive and women’s platform dive, will be broadcast live at 3 p.m. Sunday, also on NBC.
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