WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
June 22, 2012
The veteran and teenager put on a show to clinch a spot on the U.S. Olympic team Friday night at the U.S. Olympic trials in Federal Way, Wash.
At 32, Troy Dumais of Ventura, Calif. became only the second male diver since Greg Louganis to make his fourth Olympic team.
Ipsen, 19, of Clayton, Calif. fought off nerves in the fifth round, to make his first Olympic team.
Dumais and Ipsen led all six rounds to top the eight-team field and finished with 1,296.21 points.
Only one synchro team advances to the London Olympics. Dumais and Ipsen will compete against each other in Sunday’s 3-meter individual event final.
2008 Olympian Chris Colwill of Brandon, Fla. and Drew Livingston of The Woodlands, Texas, who led after the preliminary round and dropped to second in semifinals, finished with 1,263.51 points.
Brothers Justin and Dwight Dumais were third with 1,151.46.
Dumais and Ipsen won five of the six rounds with steady execution and synchronization. They scored only 69.30 points in the fifth round when Ipsen hit the end of the board with his toes and both were short of vertical and entered the sixth round with a 27-point lead.
Colwill and Livingston scored 81.60 on their inward 3 ½ in the same round and picked up 12 points but it wasn’t enough. Going into the sixth round, all Dumais and Ipsen needed were 5 1/2s to clinch but they ended up scoring 87.72 points.
Ipsen, the youngest diver at the Olympic Trials four years ago, was overcome with emotion burying his head in his arms at poolside while Dumais stared at the scoreboard.
For Dumais, his moment in history was hopefully just the beginning, he said.
“It’s very satisfying. It is an amazing feat and great feeling but our job isn’t done,” Dumais said. “We set out for a goal and this is one of the steps that’s taken us to our goal. London awaits.”
Ipsen admitted he was nervous for the first time during the competition.
“My heart is beating very fast,” Ipsen said. “Before I felt calm and collective for this entire meet but not today. Today was tough. It was a struggle to get my heart rate down. I kept thinking ahead which I didn’t want to do. I kept trying to bring it back to the present
“That fifth dive I struggled with,” Ipsen said. “It’s been good all week but I was really anxious before and too quick off the board. On my last dive I was walking down the board telling myself to stay calm and let the body do what it wants to do. I didn’t overthink it. I am glad we ended on a good note.”
Despite the age discrepancy and lack of Olympic experience, Dumais has great confidence in Ipsen.
“I know he can compete and step up and do his job,” Dumais said. “Everyone comments on the age but I feel like we are compatible. When we are at the pool we know we have a job to do. This is the moment he always dreamed about, it’s hard to control.”
The pair have a month of training before London. The score they finished with on Friday night would not be enough to medal at the Olympics and they know it.
Dumais and Ipsen join other synchro divers Kelci Bryant, Abby Johnston, David Boudia and Nick McCrory on the U.S. team.
Since the U.S. did not qualify a women’s 10-meter platform team, only two teams competed in an exhibition. Ashley Buchter and Natalie Kalibat edged Allie Alter and Andrea Acquista, 701.73-699.27.
Miami Diving’s Samuel Dorman and partner Zachary Nees of Indiana finished seventh with 1,028.73 points. According to announcers, Dorman is transferring to Indiana to be able to train syncrho with Nees.
On Saturday, the finals in the men’s 10-meter platform and women’s 3-meter springboard will be held. The events will be televised live by NBC 4-6 p.m.
MEN’S SYNCHRO 3-METER SPRINGBOARD
1.Troy Dumais, Longhorn Aquatics/Kris Ipsen, Stanford, 1,296.21
2.Chris Colwill, Georgia Diving/Drew Livingston, Texas 1,263.51
3.Justin Dumais, YCF/Dwight Dumais, Longhorn Aquatics 1,151.46
4.Bryce Klein, GC Diving/Bradley Christensen, GC Diving 1,091.40
5.Aaron Fleshner, Alabama Diving/Chris Heaton, Unattached 1,054.38
6.Michael Mosca, Harvard/Toby Stanley, Unattached 1,042.77
7.Zachary Nees, Unattached/Samuel Dorman, University of Miami Diving 1,028.73
8.Justin Youtsey, Redhawk Diving/Clark Thomas, Jayhawk Diving 957.18
WOMEN’S SYNCHRO 10-METER PLATFORM EXHIBITION
1.Ashley Butcher, SEDC/Natalie Kalibat, JRD 701.73
2.Allie Alter, Ohio/Andrea Acquista, Ohio 699.27
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org