Dumais, Cozad lead at USA Diving nationals - Sports Illustrated

Dumais, Cozad lead at USA Diving nationals

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Justin Dumais and Amy Cozad led their divisions Wednesday after the semifinal rounds in the U.S. national diving championships.

Dumais, from Orlando, Fla., had 436.20 points in the men's 3-meter springboard semifinals to lead the 12 qualifiers for the 13-man finals Saturday. Bradley Christensen of Southlake, Texas, followed at 423.75, and Greg Ferrucci of Huntersville, N.C., was third at 423.15.

The semifinal qualifiers will be joined by Dumais' younger brother, Olympic bronze medalist Troy Dumais, who earned a bye into the finals after qualifying for the London Olympics.

"I'd have to say he has the advantage right now," Justin Dumais said about his brother. "I took six years off to fly for the Air Force, and I've tried to go from zero to hero in just the last 12 months."

Justin Dumais, who also led after Wednesday morning's quarterfinal round, overcame one bad dive by scoring 70 or better on four other dives, including a pair of 80s. Among them was the semifinal round's best single-dive score, an 86.70 on an inward 3 1/2 somersault tuck.

"I'm not as physically prepared as I'd like to be for something like this," he said. "So I've had to figure out how to get the most bang out of the buck. I guess you can say I'm working smarter, not harder."

Cozad, from Bloomington, Ind., scored 338.40 points in the women's 10-meter platform semifinals. Cheyenne Cousineau of Temperance, Mich., was second at 336.70, and Eszter Pryor of New Albany, Ohio, third at 330.15.

The top 12 divers in the women's 10-meter semifinals advanced to Saturday's finals at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Cozad, third in the women's 10-meter at last year's U.S. nationals, was eighth after Wednesday's quarterfinal round. She also had to overcome a bad dive by closing out with a pair of dives scoring 76 or better, including a semifinal-best 84.80 on an inward 3 1/2 somersault tuck.

"I got a good start, but I under-rotated on that third dive," Cozad said. "What's so funny is that fourth dive is usually my least-toughest dive, but I'll take what I got on it.

"I'll just stick to the game plan I've worked out with my coach. I focus on one dive at a time, and I try to do certain things on each dive. Usually if I do those things, I'll still be happy with what I did."