Troy Dumais

Troy Dumais ends storied diving career on emotional note (video)

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The final competitive dive of Troy Dumais‘ storied career was one of his toughest.

As he stepped up on the springboard in the final round of the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials on Saturday, the crowd at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis gave the 36-year-old, four-time Olympian a standing ovation. He was already out of contention for a berth in a fifth Olympics, but he still wanted to nail his forward dive with two and a half somersaults and two twists.

“It took a lot out of me, I’ve got to be honest with you,” Dumais told NBC after the emotional dive.

But he executed flawlessly and called it a career – one of the greatest the sport of diving has ever seen. He didn’t use the word “retire,” but Dumais did say, “It’s been a great career.”

He was bidding to become the first U.S. man to dive in five Olympic Games, and he would have been the oldest to qualify for the U.S. Olympic diving team since at least 1912. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis is the only other U.S. male to qualify for four Olympics.

VIDEO: U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

Ultimately, Dumais finished fourth when only the top two divers go to the Olympics. Since May, he’s been bothered by a nerve injury that causes numbness in his right arm.

But he fought through the pain and goes out as one of the most decorated U.S. divers of all time: 38 national championships, 21 consecutive national teams made (first appearance at age 16), seven NCAA championships, five World Championships medals, three-time USA Diving Athlete of the Year, and one Olympic medal.

He earned that bronze four years ago in London with synchronized partner Kristian Ipsen, the man who won the individual springboard event Saturday night. Upon clinching his Olympic berth, Ipsen was immediately greeted by Dumais.

“It was cool because he just said ‘You’re going to kill it,'” Ipsen said afterward. “It’s pretty awesome. He’s been to four Olympics now, so for him to say that was like passing on the torch. It was a really cool moment.”

Dumais’ final night was full of memorable moments.

MORE: Parratto, Young clinch U.S. Olympic berths in women’s platform

First four U.S. Olympic individual diving berths awarded; Troy Dumais misses out

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — With one long hug and a few brief words, Troy Dumais asked Kristian Ipsen to carry on the legacy of American diving.

Ipsen smiled, Dumais choked back tears and now the two longtime synchro partners are heading in drastically different directions.

On Saturday, Ipsen and Michael Hixon took the two Olympic spots in men’s 3-meter, while Dumais’ bid to become the first U.S. man to dive in five Olympic Games came to an end.

“It was cool because he just said ‘You’re going to kill it,'” Ipsen said after winning with the event with a score of 1,452.75 points. “It’s pretty awesome. He’s been to four Olympics now, so for him to say that was like passing on the torch. It was a really cool moment.”

Jessica Parratto and Katrina Young enjoyed their day, too, making the U.S. team in women’s 10-meter. Young moved up two places on her final three dives to qualify.

VIDEO: U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

For Ipsen and Hixon, it was a bittersweet moment.

While Ipsen is headed to his second straight Olympics and will compete in Rio in his first individual event, he wanted to win another medal with Dumais in 3-meter springboard. They earned a bronze four years ago but finished second at the trials in an event that only had one spot available.

Hixon’s score of 1,385.45 assured him of qualifying in both 3-meter events but even the first-time Olympian kept his joy in check — knowing this would be the end of Dumais’ diving career.

“I just told him I loved him and thank you,” Hixon said. “We trained together at Texas for a year. He’s done a lot for USA Diving and he’s been a tremendous mentor to so many kids coming up that it seems like thank you doesn’t quite cut it.”

Fans at the Indiana University Natatorium felt the same way.

When the 36-year-old Dumais stepped onto the springboard for the final dive of his final event, already out of contention, the biggest crowd of the week roared so loud for so long that Dumais bent over, wiped his eyes and waved to the crowd before making that short jog one last time. He scored a 71.4 on the dive and wound up fourth overall at 1,287.4.

“What a way to go out, huh? A standing ovation in front of my family,” he said through reddened eyes. “It’s a dive I’ll always relive in my mind — standing on the board, seeing the people. It was actually hard to do.”

But as he has done so many times before, Dumais got the dive done and then graciously accepted his fate.

If anyone was to derail Dumais, he would have wanted it to be Ipsen, who made it look easy.

The semifinal leader extended his lead on three of the first four dives and sealed his spot when Hixon nearly smacked his back on the water and was given a 17.5 on his fourth dive.

The miss gave Dumais a brief opening, but Hixon rebounded with a 91.2 and a 95.2 on his final two dives to hold on.

“I’m very excited,” Ipsen said. “It’s been a really long week, a lot of ups and downs. It’s been super emotional, especially with Troy and his last dive. But I’m really happy it went the way it did for me today.”

Parratto led going into the finals and maintained her lead all night. She finished with a score of 1,030.05 to qualify for her second event this week. Parratto and Amy Cozad also will represent the U.S. in synchro 10-meter.

The fight for second was the most interesting competition all week.

Samantha Bromberg started the night in second, while Cozad was third and Young was fourth. Cozad jumped into the No. 2 spot after her first dive but Bromberg reclaimed it after her second dive. Bromberg fell to fourth after receiving a 37.95 on her third dive and Cozad faltered on her final two attempts, scoring 44.55 and 46.4.

Young, meanwhile, moved up with scores of 72.0, 62.8 and 76.8. She finished with a 982.1 to beat out Bromberg’s 958.4. Cozad finished fourth.

“It feels great, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Young, who had never finished higher than fourth at the NCAA championships. “Honestly, I felt like I really could do this for a long time.”

MORE: David Boudia, Steele Johnson win platform at U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

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