INDIANAPOLIS (Purdue Sports) — Purdue alumnus David Boudia saved his best list for the big stage of the 3-meter final, winning his 21st career national title and earning a bid to the FINA World Championships with his victory Saturday at the USA Diving Senior National Championships.
Boudia earned scores over 80 points on four of his six dives Saturday, producing a list score of 474.35 that was the best of any diver that competed on 3-meter this week at nationals. His cumulative three-list score of 1358.05 was good for second in the field behind only silver medalist and 2016 Olympian Michael Hixon. They earned Team USA's two berths in the event at the World Championships (July 12-28 in Gwangju, South Korea).
Boudia entered the day seven points behind Andrew Capobianco for second place in the cumulative scoring. Capobianco was in first place after the first two rounds Saturday, but missed his fourth-round dive to drop out of contention for the national title and an individual 3-meter bid at the World Championships.
"Going into this event today, I don't think I've been this nervous since 2005. I think just because it's a new event on 3-meter and there's a lot more variables when it comes to diving on that. I'm not as comfortable on 3-meter yet, but this is a good stepping stone," Boudia said. "I think my rock in this has been my mental game, and that's why I've been successful in this sport. It's just a matter of turning on that focus and getting in the zone, and I guess that's what happened today."
Boudia's 21 national titles are third-most in USA Diving history behind only Greg Louganis (47) and Troy Dumais (38).
Purdue's Ben Bramley and Steele Johnson also qualified for the World Championships in 10-meter synchro Monday. Fellow Boilermaker Emily Meaney is also expected to compete for her native Australia.
Boudia qualified for the biennial World Championships for the seventh time (2005-15, 2019). However, he competed on 10-meter in each of the first six, winning four silver medals at Worlds (individual in 2011-15; synchro in 2009).
Boudia was a three-time NCAA champion on 3-meter for the Boilermakers from 2009 to 2011, but had competed almost exclusively on 10-meter for Team USA. He shifted his focus to 3-meter in 2018 after sustaining a concussion while training on 10-meter. In the final months of 2018, he medaled on 3-meter at both the USA Diving Winter Trials (gold) and FINA Grand Prix meet in Australia (silver). Those were his first competitions since winning a pair of medals at the 2016 Olympic Games.
At the Senior Nationals this week, only list scores in the final determine the three medalists. In all events, cumulative scores are being used to determine the USA's berths at the World Championships.
Emily Bretscher (3-meter), Brandon Loschiavo (10-meter), Bramley (10-meter) and Johnson (10-meter) are all scheduled to compete Sunday on the final day of the USA Diving Senior National Championships. Only 3.3 points separate Loschiavo (870.35) and Johnson (867.05) as they pursue a top-two finish the cumulative scoring to earn an individual World Championships bid. The men's 10-meter final is set for noon ET and the women's 3-meter is at 1:40 p.m.