Print and Go Back Olympics [Print without images]

Monday, February 8, 2010
Wright, Bryant top 1-meter event

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two days after struggling in the 3-meter springboard competition, Michael Wright made up for it by winning the men's 1-meter title at the USA Diving Winter National Championships.

Wright, who finished 17th in the 3-meter event, earned his first national title Monday.

"The 3-meter wasn't my best," Wright said. "I put that behind me. I knew it was a long weekend and this was the last day so I wanted to finish strong."

Earlier, Kelci Bryant won the women's 1-meter for her second win of the competition held at Ohio State University.

Wright, a 22-year-old senior at Tennessee, was third after the preliminary round but outpointed David Bonuchi 390-360 on the judges' scorecards in the final. Weston Wieser was third.

"My first dive [of the final], a back 2½ twister, gave me momentum," Wright said. "I got some confidence and rolled from there."

Bryant, who paired with Christina Loukas for the 3-meter synchronized title on Saturday, felt ill prior to the event but still earned her sixth national title.

"I really wasn't worried about competing," Bryant said. "It was good practice for me competing individually and not synchro, which is something I'm usually better at."

The 21 year-old from Minneapolis, who was fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics' 3-meter synchro with Ariel Rittenhouse, overcame her early queasiness to beat Brittney Feldman. Kassidy Cook was third.

"Instead of thinking about not feeling real good I wanted to be more focused on trying to do what my coach said," Bryant said. "He said to concentrate on the dive at hand more than trying to make sure it was the best dive I can do. If I did that then he said good things would happen and they did."