Federal Way, Wash. — Dukes Nick McCrory boasted a gift on his left hand after earning his first Olympics berth Thursday night at the U.S. National Diving Trials at the King County Aquatics Center.
Given to him by synchronized 10-meter platform partner David Boudia, the ring featuring five Olympics circles has been passed down by U.S. divers every four years as a rite of passage to new Olympics qualifiers.
Just dont plan on the No. 1-ranked diver in the U.S. gift-wrapping anything else for McCrory when the two face-off in the individual 10-meter platform Saturday. I dont want to lose to this guy even though we are teammates right now, Boudia said after he and the Duke standout cruised to a win by racking up 1,387.86 points over the three-session competition. Itll be interesting on Saturday. Its going to be a good competition between Nick and Thomas (Finchum) and I.
Still fresh to international competition, McCrory, 20, offered a more humble view about competing against a friend in the most important event of his career.
Its exciting. It keeps us on our toes, he said. There is a really great dynamic between the two of us. Its supportive but also competitive at the same time. We both want to dive our best, but its always fun competing against each other.
The duo entered the night with a comfortable 114.84-point lead in the synchro 10-meter platform after burying opponents in the preliminaries and semifinals by executing an array of challenging dives.
Boudia, who attends Purdue, said he wasnt surprised by their landslide victory.
When you have your two best divers in the country and they are diving with each other it kind of makes sense to put them together, he said.
McCrory and Boudia then eliminated any thought of an unprecedented collapse with a pair of nearly flawless synchronized inward dives in the first round.
In the third frame, they capped a week of dominance by nailing a pair of forward 4 ½ somersaults to earn a 92.13, their best score of the night.
By the fifth round, they had their trip to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London clinched.
McCrory, who grew up in Chapel Hill, couldnt help but savor the emotions before he and Boudia return to the pool next week to begin perfecting the six dives they hope will end a 12-year Olympics medal drought for U.S. Diving.
It feels incredible, McCrory said. This has been my dream and I finally reached my lifelong goal. I think we have a lot more to come this summer and Im excited to keep training hard.