FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Duke’s Nick McCrory held off Thomas Finchum to clinch a second berth to the 2012 Summer Olympics by finishing second behind Purdue’s David Boudia in the U.S. Team Trials for 10-meter platform diving on Saturday.
McCrory and Boudia had already clinched spots on the U.S. Olympic team bound for London by winning the platform synchro event.
After staking himself to a 69-point lead entering the men’s 10-meter platform finals, McCrory exhibited poise down the stretch of the six-round competition to finish with 1,582.55 points in the most successful event of his young career.
McCrory buried Finchum in the fourth round, one-upping the only challenger to his Olympic berth by executing a nearly perfect reverse 3½ somersault moments after Finchum applied pressure by nailing the same move.
The four international judges awarded McCrory with a 92.40 to extend his lead to nearly 100 points.
“Today I just went into the competition to do my dives like I’ve been doing and have fun,” he said. “I really wasn’t looking at his scores or anything like that. I would do my dive and then kind of go sit in my little corner and listen to music.
“I was keeping it really relaxed and just diving.”
He capped his week in style in the fifth round when his back 3½ somersault tuck garnered five 10s. The 99.00-point dive produced booming applause from the 2,297 in attendance at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center.
McCrory attributed his late-round composure to the countless hours spent acclimating to his Olympic set-list.
“This is a dive I’ve been doing for a long time,” he said. “I love that dive… I wanted to do something exciting today in the finals.”
McCrory’s attention now turns to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. With opening ceremonies a little more than one month away, McCrory said he feels ready to take his talent to the next level.
“I’m going to train really hard and just do what I’ve been doing,” he said. “I think the U.S. has a lot of high goals this summer but we also just really focused on the diving itself … Hopefully I’ll be ready for London in a few weeks.”