Sam Dorman and Michael Hixon made their first competition diving together an unforgettable one, winning the U.S. Olympic Trials synchronized springboard in Indianapolis on Wednesday night.
They’re joined by women’s synchronized platform winners Amy Cozad and Jessica Parratto as the first four members of the U.S. Olympic diving team. All four are first-time Olympians.
The Trials continue through Sunday (broadcast schedule here).
Dorman and Hixon beat Olympic bronze medalists Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen by a comfortable 47.97 points. They came into the finals with a 56.52-point lead after the preliminary and semifinal rounds.
Dorman and Hixon weren’t paired together for Trials until late this spring, after a USA Diving camp to determine the best duos going forward.
“We matched up well,” Dorman said on NBCSN after winning Wednesday.
Dumais, 36, failed in a bid to become the first five-time U.S. Olympic diver. He’ll get another chance in the individual springboard final Saturday. But he will have to erase a 110.05-point deficit there.
Ipsen leads the individual springboard going into the final, followed by Hixon (7.05 points back), Mark Anderson (109.2 behind Hixon) and then Dumais. The top two finishers make the Olympic team.
Dumais’ best chance was in synchro. Now it looks like his decorated Olympic career is complete. His voice cracked in a post-meet NBCSN interview, repeating what he told Ipsen before the competition.
“No matter what, let’s enjoy it,” Dumais said. “Thank you for the memories.”
Cozad knows Olympic Trials heartbreak. She missed the 2012 Olympic team by one spot in the individual platform.
Cozad and Parratto left no doubt Wednesday, winning by nearly 90 points after prelims, semis and finals. Their lead was so large they clinched victory before their last dive.
“End goal is an Olympic medal,” said Parratto, who with Cozad finished ninth at the 2015 World Championships.
Cozad and Parratto could also make the Olympic team individually Saturday.
Parratto, whose mom clutched a stress ball watching her dive Wednesday, leads by 69 points going into that final. Cozad is in third but just .15 behind second-place Murphy Bromberg.
MORE: Athletes qualified for U.S. Olympic teamFollow @nzaccardi