In a spectacular display of diving prowess, Sarah Bacon emerged triumphant in the women's 3-meter event, while Joshua Hedberg secured gold in the men's 10-meter competition as the 2023 USA Diving Winter National Championships came to an exhilarating close in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Bacon's stellar performance earned her the 3-meter title for the second consecutive year, amassing an impressive 648.00 points across two lists of dives. Displaying unmatched consistency, Bacon scored 327.25 points in the semifinals, carrying a substantial 14.05-point lead into the final. The accomplished diver showcased her skills by scoring 63 points or higher on four of her five dives in the final, further solidifying her dominance.
Expressing her confidence throughout the competition, Bacon remarked, "I've felt very confident on these boards. I love this facility. The boards are great. I just tried to do exactly what I did in the prelims and semis in the final today, which was relax, have fun, trust my training, trust my diving, and trust my coach Wenbo. It was a good time out there."
Hailey Hernandez claimed the silver with a total of 580.60 points, while Alison Gibson secured the bronze with a commendable performance, amassing 576.80 points.
In the men's 10-meter event, Joshua Hedberg showcased his prowess by securing a gold medal with an impressive total of 897.85 points across two lists of dives. This victory marked Hedberg's second gold of the week, having previously clinched the men's synchronized 10-meter title.
Brandon Loschiavo earned the individual 10-meter silver with 844.75 points, demonstrating his diving proficiency. Carson Tyler, Hedberg's synchro partner, secured the individual bronze with a total of 808.35 points.
Reflecting on his achievement, Hedberg, a four-time junior national champion on the platform, expressed his satisfaction, saying, "I've just been trying to stay consistent throughout the competition, and I think it went pretty well. I'm going to keep working hard these next few weeks to get ready for worlds. It's going to be fun."
As the top two divers in each event earned the opportunity to represent the United States at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, in February, Bacon and Hedberg's outstanding performances have not only secured national acclaim but have also set the stage for international representation. The USA Diving Winter Nationals proved to be a showcase of skill, determination, and the pursuit of excellence in the world of diving.
Source: Swim Swam
Image courtesy: Associated press