First four divers qualify for U.S. Olympic team

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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 team

Justin Schoenefeld gets U.S.’ first men’s aerials World Cup win in 4 years

Justin Schoenefeld
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
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Justin Schoenefeld ended a four-year U.S. men’s aerials drought with his first World Cup win Saturday in Belarus.

Schoenfeld, 21, hit a double full-full-full in the super final to beat a field that included world champion Maxim Burov of Russia. Burov was fourth, one spot behind another American, Chris Lillis. Full results are here.

“I’m pretty speechless right now,” Schoenefeld said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I’m just shocked. It just all came so quick, all of a sudden the two finals were over, and I was on top of the podium. I probably landed two of my training jumps yesterday, but I managed to land all of my comp jumps down to my feet.”

Schoenefeld’s best previous World Cup finish was fourth, in Belarus last season.

Lillis earned the U.S.’ last World Cup men’s aerials victory on Feb. 20, 2016, also in Belarus. The four-year gap between wins marked the longest for the U.S. men since aerials was added as an Olympic medal sport in 1994.

Schoenefeld also became the first American of either gender to win a World Cup aerials event in two years, since Kiley McKinnon on Jan. 6, 2018. That gap was the longest for the U.S. since 2005.

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MORE: Olympic aerials champion retires to coach

Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled world title in first season for U.S.

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Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries won a bobsled world title in her first season since switching allegiance from Canada to the U.S., ending recent German dominance.

Humphries, with brakewoman Lauren Gibbs, edged German junior world champ Kim Kalicki by .37 of a second combining times from four runs between Friday and Saturday in Altenberg, Germany.

“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls.”

Canadian Christine de Bruin took bronze for a second straight year. Full results are here.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by Canada in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program. As a Canadian, Humphries won 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles, plus 2012 and 2013 World titles.

Humphries joined German Sandra Kiriasis as the only female drivers to win three world titles. She is already the only female driver with multiple Olympic titles.

German Mariama Jamanka, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, finished fourth in Altenberg.

Triple U.S. Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor didn’t compete as she sits out the season due to pregnancy. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs teamed for silver in PyeongChang.

The world championships continue Sunday with the conclusion of the two-man competition. German Francesco Friedrich, eyeing his sixth straight world title, leads after the first two of four runs.

A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

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