Three former Carroll Dragons were in Indianapolis from June 6-13 competing in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving. Hailey Hernandez (2021), Bridget O’Neil (2020) and Nate Hernandez (2018) participated in the diving competition. Congratulations to Carroll grad Hailey Hernandez for making the US Olympic Team for Diving!
The springboard competitions involved a preliminary, semifinal and final rounds with the top two finishers in the finals qualifying for Team USA. Nate Hernandez, who dove for Duke University after his diving career at Carroll, came in 13th out of 39 divers after the preliminary round of the Men’s 3-meter Springboard. The top 18 advanced the semifinals where his journey ended. His 15th place finish didn’t qualify him for the final round as only the top 12 divers advanced.
The Women’s 3-meter Springboard preliminaries were held on June 8, and Hailey Hernandez, Nate’s little sister who just graduated from Carroll on May 28, finished first in the preliminary round out of 27 divers. Moving on to the semifinal round, Krysta Palmer jumped ahead of Hernandez, beating her by 61 points, and taking over the first place spot. Hernandez moved to second place. Bridget O’Neil finished 12th in the semifinals which secured her a spot in the finals. The top 12 divers in the semifinals moved on to the finals on Saturday, June 12, where the top two competitors would punch their ticket to Team USA.
In the finals, Palmer and Hernandez didn’t move off the top of the list, and Palmer kept her first place spot with 1011.95 points. Hernandez stayed consistent and strong and finished in second with 926.55 points. They will move on to represent the United States on Team USA.
Hernandez also teamed up with her GC Diving teammate Emily Grund of Roanoke, to compete in the Synchronized Women’s 3-meter Springboard. They entered the finals on Thursday, June 10, in 5th place and finished the competition in the same spot. Only the top team of Krysta Palmer and Alison Gibson made Team USA.
The Tokyo Olympics kick off on July 23, 2021, and the diving events will be held from July 25 to August 7.
Carroll has had one other diver compete in the Olympic trials, Bryce Klein (2013), who dove in the finals of both the 3-meter Springboard and Synchronized 3-meter Springboard events in the 2012 Olympic Team Trials.
Photo: Courtesy of Stewart Johnson / Snapped Dragons Photography