April 11, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- 2012 Olympic silver medalist Abby Johnson (Upper Arlington, Ohio) and Laura Ryan (Elk River, Minn./Athens, Ga.) scored 606.60 points over two lists of dives to win the women's synchronized 3-meter event Friday at USA Diving's World Cup Synchronized Diving Trials, held at Florida State's Morcom Aquatic Center.
With their victory, Johnston and Ryan will represent the United States in synchronized 3-meter at the FINA Diving World Cup, set for July 15-20 in Shanghai. The World Cup is the top international meet of the 2014 season.
The synchro trials marked Johnston's first 3-meter competition since she won the silver medal in synchronized 3-meter with Kelci Bryant at the 2012 Olympic Games.
"I competed 1-meter at two college meets (for Duke) last year, but I've had a bad shoulder. This was my first 3-meter meet since the Olympics, so I was a little nervous up there. As soon as I got going, I was reminded why I love competing and why I love diving," said Johnston, who competed in Shanghai at the 2011 World Championships. "I can't wait for World Cup. It'll be good to be back in Shanghai and for me to back in the international scene."
The World Cup Trials were also the first competition together for Johnston and Ryan, who were matched as a synchronized team at a USA Diving camp less than two weeks ago.
"Abby and I got together a week and a half ago and really got in time quickly. To have a great meet together here was just awesome, and we're really excited to work even harder for World Cup this summer," said Ryan, who had already qualified for the World Cup in the individual 3-meter event. "What was so awesome about the two of us was that we came in with the exact same hurdle, so we didn't have to change much - just a little timing here and there, but mostly we can just focus on our own dives, and that's been the biggest thing."
Maren Taylor (Arlington, Va./Austin, Texas) and Deidre Freeman (Grinnell, Iowa), who won the national title on synchronized 3-meter at the 2013 USA Diving Winter National Championships, finished second with 533.40 points. Amanda Burke (Southampton, Pa./State College, Pa.) and Ariel Rittenhouse (Santa Cruz, Calif./Tallahassee, Fla.) were third with 511.20 points.
The World Cup Synchronized Diving Trials continue through Sunday, April 13. Saturday's competition features men's synchronized 3-meter diving.