AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 174: Dumais Makes History, Ipsen Win To Land Olympic Synchro Berth

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 174: Dumais Makes History, Ipsen Win To Land Olympic Synchro Berth


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.


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


1.Ashley Butcher, SEDC/Natalie Kalibat, JRD 701.73

2.Allie Alter, Ohio/Andrea Acquista, Ohio 699.27

Sharon Robb can be reached at



AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 172: Miami’s Brittany Viola Closing In On Olympic Berth At U.S. Trials

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 172: Miami’s Brittany Viola Closing In On Olympic Berth At U.S. Trials


June 21, 2012

Miami Diving’s Brittany Viola, brimming with confidence from the opening round, is two steps closer to making her first Olympic team.

Viola, 25, a University of Miami alum took a commanding lead after prelims and semifinals of the women’s 10-meter platform Wednesday night to advance into Sunday’s final of the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

In front of a nationally-televised audience, Viola opened with a 10 on her opening dives in both prelims and semis and remained in the lead despite Katie Bell and 2008 Olympian Hailey Ishimatsu trying to close the gap during the five-round semifinals.

“I am just enjoying this experience, every dive is a joy,” Viola said. “I just trusted my body and my strength. I want to enjoy every moment of this opportunity in Sunday’s finals.”

Viola finished with 734.30 points followed by Bell with 703.75 and Ishimatsu, who moved up from seventh after prelims to third with 674.05 points.

Florida State’s Katrina Young also made the final cut of 12 divers placing tenth with 589.10. Young is coach by former Fort Lauderdale diver and Olympian Patrick Jeffrey.

With Viola looking like a lock for the team, the battle will come down to the second berth for the London Olympics.

Viola, 25, the daughter of 1987 World Series MVP Frank Viola, is competing in her third trials. She finished fourth in the 2008 trials. At the 2004 trials at age 17 she finished second but the selection committee chose another diver.

“There’s been a lot of lessons, a lot of them have been very challenging,” Viola said. “My body feels very good. I’m so thankful. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in.”

In prelims, Viola led after the opening round with 380.55 points. She wasted no time as establishing herself as the leader among a field of 32 divers by scoring a 10 on her first dive, a forward 3 ½ somersaults.

“To start off like that is wonderful, but it’s a reminder to go on to the next one,” Viola said. “I just had a blast. I’m really enjoying the competition. I’m in a very peaceful place.”

Viola maintained the lead through four rounds with 308.55 points ahead of Bell with 260.85, Laura Ryan with 257.40, Amy Korthauer with 255.90 and Anna James with 244.90.

After the men’s 3-meter springboard prelims and semifinals, synchro partners Kris Ipsen, 19, seeking his first Olympic berth, and veteran Troy Dumais, 32, seeking his fourth, finished 1-2.

“It really is a battle, there are so many good competitors,” Ipsen said. “They are all so talented.”

Ipsen finished with 993.80 points. Only 3.05 points separates Dumais, second with 954.20 and Chris Colwill of Brandon with 951.15. Thomas Finchum, competing on springboard for the first time at trials, is fourth with 836.85.

“This is really a stressful environment,” Ipsen said. “This is tough, but I’m not nervous. I feel like my technique is getting better. Every list is like a final every single time.”

The top 12, including three Dumais brothers, Justin, Troy and Dwight, advanced into Sunday’s final. Justin Dumais, 33, returned to diving after his Iraq deployment. He is coached by his former 2004 Olympic teammate Mark Ruiz.

Ipsen, Dumais and Colwill, who is hearing-impaired, separated themselves from the rest of the field in the opening round of semis. Colwill moved into second in the third round with a great forward 2 ½ somersault for 88.40 while Dumais faltered on his back 2 ½ somersault for 64.50.

Dumais bounced back in the fourth round scoring 86.70 on his inward 3 ½ somersault and barely stayed second for the remainder of his list.

During prelims, Ipsen totaled 511.90 points for his six-dive list and Dumais had 465.70. They were among 18 divers who advanced into Wednesday night’s semifinals. Olympian Chris Colwill was third with 458.90.

Drew Livingston dropped from eighth to 17th place and failed to advance after a failed dive in the sixth round.

On Thursday, it’s championship finals time when the first Olympians are selected in the women’s 3-meter synchro and men’s 10-meter synchro at 10 p.m. televised on NBCSN. Olympic gold medalist Laura Wilkinson is color commentator. will live stream finals on Saturday and Sunday.


Move over Diana Nyad. Aussie Hall of Fame marathon swimmer Penny Palfrey and her crew are in Fort Lauderdale preparing for her 103-mile Cuba-to-Florida Swim. Palfrey, who turns 50 next month, expects to enter the water in Havana between June 23-30 depending on weather. She was successful with her Bridging the Cayman Islands Swim finishing in a world record 67.25 miles. The budget for her latest attempt is about $166,000….

Two-time Olympian and former Fort Lauderdale Diving Team elite diver Jenny Keim Johansen was named new diving coach for North Carolina’s women’s swimming and diving team. She replaces Kevin Lawrence who retired. She had been diving coach at N.C. State since 2008….Olympian Lars Jorgensen has been hired as associated head coach at University of Kentucky. Prior to that Jorgensen had been Tennessee men’s interim head coach and was head coach at Toledo, leading them to the first Mid-American Conference Championship during 2009-2010. Jorgensen will join 21-coaching veteran Gary Connelly at Kentucky. Jorgensen will replace John Brucato who left in May to coach the new program at Bellarmine…Auburn coach Brett Hawke will serve as Bahamian head coach…Florida Gulf Coast University and former Florida Atlantic University assistant coach Neal Studd was named head coach of St. Lucia for the Olympics. He will coach his swimmer, national record holder Danielle Beaubrun…Yahya Radman was hired as diving coach at Wyoming…Even The Weather Channel is catching Olympic fever interviewing Olympic legend Rowdy Gaines on the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, London Olympics and breaking a Guinness World Record for the largest swimming lesson last week.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 170: Dumais, Ipsen Take Lead On Day Two Of U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 170: Dumais, Ipsen Take Lead On Day Two Of U.S. Olympic Diving Trials


June 18, 2012

Three-time Olympian Troy Dumais of Ventura, Calif., looking to make his fourth Olympic team, and partner Kris Ipsen of Clayton, Calif. took the lead in the men’s 3-meter synchronized springboard after two rounds.

Dumais and Ipsen, trailing after the opening prelim round, came back to take the lead with 876 points Monday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

2008 Olympian Chris Colwill of Brandon and Drew Livingston of The Woodlands, Tex., after leading the first round by 4.86 points, are in second place with 849.33 points.

David Bonuchi of Columbia, Mo. and Michael Hixon of Amherst, Mass. are third at 779.28.

Dumais and Ipsen overtook the early leaders in the third round of the semifinals when they scored 84.63 points on their front 3 ½ pike.

Dumais and Ipsen continued to dive well, scoring 90.30 in the fifth round on their reverse 3 ½ and 84.66 on their last dive, a front 2 ½ with 2 twists.

“We had a wakeup call in the preliminaries,” Ipsen said. “The competition was great out there. It was very nerve-wracking but we have been training hard. I’m happy with our semifinal score.”

Dumais, a seven-time World Championship U.S. team member with 35 national titles, is one of the oldest in the field at 32.

“You learn from every competition,” Dumais said. “I don’t train for second place.”

After four rounds in the semifinals, Dumais and Ipsen led with 701.04 points ahead of Colwill and Livingston with 699.27.

In prelims, Colwill and Livingston took the lead on 92.40 points on a reverse 3 ½ to total 431.28. Dumais and Ipsen ended up second with 426.42.

During round five of prelims they both earned 85-point dives. After four rounds only 4.07 points separated first and third.

University of Miami’s Samuel Dorman and Zachary Nees, diving unattached, were eighth with 689.13.

The men’s 3-meter synchro finals are Friday. The top team will earn a trip to London.

The women’s 10-meter platform event was an exhibition since the U.S. did not qualify a team for London. Ashley Buchter of East Berlin, Pa. and Natalie Kalibat of Princeton, N.J. lead with 482.52 for two lists. Allie Alter of Ohio State Diving and Andrea Acquista, both of Ohio State Diving are second with 462.42.

On Tuesday, the men’s platform semifinals will be televised by NBCSN from midnight to 2 a.m. The women’s prelims and semifinals of the 3-meter springboard with Florida State’s Ariel Rittenhouse will also be held.

More diving

Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie, 27, is back home after hitting his head during a training session in Spain last week. Despatie hit his head on the board full-force and suffered a deep 10-centimeter gash that required surgery to close the wound. The two-time Olympic silver medalist is expected to miss three weeks of training but is expected to compete in London…

Cuba’s Jose Guerra and Jeinkler Aguirre won gold medal in the men’s 10-meter platform synchro to prevent a Chinese sweep at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Madrid, Spain. China men and women won gold in the four individual events and three other synchro events. Aguirre also took bronze in men’s individual platform. The last FINA meet is in Bolzano, Italy June 22-24…

Josh Karshen was named head diving coach at North Carolina State. Karshen spent the last three seasons at Purdue.


With the help of London 2012 Olympic organizers, Facebook has launched an Explore London 2012 page to help subscribers find and Like pages related to the Games. Organizers said it’s a way “to help everyone get the most out of the Games.” The dashboard features links to the main Olympic pages along with those of athletes, national teams and sports. It is available in 22 languages. The page already has 100 million connections between fans and athletes and has been estimated it could reach more than 900 million people…

To get people to start talking more about swimming in every day life, Off The Wall makes its debut on Swimming World Radio that includes discussion on foreign athletes training in the U.S., the record number of Olympic Trials qualifiers and interview with Olympic legend and swimming commentator Rowdy Gaines. The co-hosts for the Internet program are Nathan Jendrick and Olympian Felipe Delgado. It is available on a regular basis on and in the near future, on iTunes…

All-American butterfly Megan Lafferty has transferred from Maryland to University of Arizona for her senior year. It will set up a great competitive rivalry between her and SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski of Arizona State. Her favorite event is the 100-yard butterfly and her best time is 52.28…

CNN’s Piers Morgan must love swimming. First it was Dara Torres of Coral Springs Swim Club, then Natalie Coughlin and on Tuesday night (tonight) at 9 p.m. it will be ageless and four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans, trying to make the U.S. Olympic team in the 800-meter freestyle at age 40, on the Piers Tonight Show. Her veteran coach Mark Schubert, Olympic and former Mission Bay coach in west Boca Raton, calls her “a long shot” to make the team.


“Greatest place to recruit summer league swimmers? The local pizza joint right after the meet. I ran out of business cards?” SwimMac Coach David Marsh


“I was in my one-piece for eight straight hours yesterday, haha.”—Diver Kassidy Cook during the Olympic trials

Sharon Robb can be reached at