Cassidy Krug stays in front
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Cassidy Krug moved closer to making her first Olympic diving team when she finished first in the 3-meter springboard semifinals at the U.S. trials on Tuesday night.
Krug, who led after morning preliminaries, totaled 718.85 points and will take a 39.20-point lead over 2008 Olympian Christina Loukas into Saturday's final.
Loukas had 679.65 points, with scores from prelims carrying over to the semis. Kassidy Cook was third at 653.25, followed by Bianca Alvarez at 626.00.
Kelci Bryant was fifth at 610.70 in her bid to make a second straight Olympic team.
The top 12 women advanced to the final at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, south of Seattle. The two highest finishers earn berths in London.
Krug was in first throughout the five-dive semi. Her highest scoring dive came in the second round on a forward 3½ somersaults that earned marks ranging from 8.0 to 8.5.
"I was still diving a little bit controlled for me," she said. "In the finals, I really want to let my body go. I can do a little cleaner entries and a little faster spins -- a little more."
Krug quit the sport four years ago when she finished eighth at trials. The 26-year-old daughter of two diving coaches from Pittsburgh has been around the sport her entire life because her parents coach at the university and club levels. Krug gave it up for a year before returning in 2010. She's come on strong since, winning four national springboard titles, including this year's winter nationals.
Loukas was cheered on by eight family members wearing turquoise T-shirts featuring her diving on the front. Her family owns the popular Cubby Bear Lounge near Wrigley Field in Chicago, where she figured the TVs were tuned to the NBA Finals Tuesday night instead of the diving.
"I'm sure most people would want to see the basketball," she said.
Loukas finished fourth on springboard at last year's world championships in Shanghai, the best finish by an American woman at the meet since 1994, and was ninth in Beijing.
"This morning I was playing it a little safe and ended up not diving as well," she said. "Tonight I was going for it more and it worked. I did feel more energy in the building, so that was fun. I love hearing my family yelling for me."
Others making the final were Meili Carpenter, Summer Allman, Sarah Bacon, Samantha Pickens, Victoria Ishimatsu, Abby Johnston and Gracia Leydon-Mahoney.
Nick McCrory's consistency overcame David Boudia's perfection in the 10-meter platform preliminaries.
McCrory totaled 512.80 points over six rounds to narrowly stay ahead of Boudia, who had 508.80. The duo partners on 10-meter synchro, and they own a commanding lead going into Thursday's final in that event.
Thomas Finchum, who finished 12th on platform at the Beijing Olympics, was third at 496.95. Scores carry over each round, and the top three men had a sizeable lead over the other 15 divers who advanced to the evening semifinals. The trio boasts the most international experience of any U.S. man on platform.
Christopher Law was fourth at 410.95, followed by David Bonuchi at 408.90 and Toby Stanley with 394.10.
McCrory faltered only on his last dive, but so did Boudia, who closed with the same backward 2½ somersaults with 2½ twists that McCrory did.
Boudia received three perfect marks of 10.0 on third and fourth dives, two that he said he typically struggles on. He entered the water with barely a splash on his third dive, a forward 41/2 somersaults, and again on his reverse 3½ somersaults.
"I hear it, but it doesn't scare me," Finchum said. "If anything it makes me want to do my dives better."
Boudia's 10s came after he missed his second dive.
"I was like, `I'm nervous? This is trials, I've been on 5,000 stages bigger than this," Boudia said, adding that his miss served as a wake-up call. "The nerves de-hyped and I started getting in gear."
Finchum, who first made a splash as a tiny 15-year-old at the 2005 world championships, is trying to make his second Olympic team after going through what he called four "very difficult" years. He had right shoulder surgery at the end of 2010, the first serious adversity he's faced in his career.
"Everything went easy for me when I was little," he said. "It would mean a lot more to me because of what I've had to persevere through. It has made me so much stronger."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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