INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Junior Nick McCrory captured the third NCAA title of his career in platform diving Saturday, rounding out what has been a standout performance on all three disciplines at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships this week at the IU Natatorium and the IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis.
After previously winning national titles on the platform as a freshman and sophomore in 2010 and 2011, McCrory was impressive in his return to his signature event at the NCAA Championships, leading the field in the preliminaries with a score of 471.70.
The Chapel Hill, N.C., native opened his finals list Saturday evening with 84.60 points on a back 2 ½ somersault for a 3.6 degree of difficulty and then took over first place in the second round, earning a score of 71.40 on a forward 3 ½ somersault.
In the third round, McCrory received six 9.0s and one 9.5 from the judges on a back 2 ½ somersault. He matched that 81.00-point effort on his fourth dive, a reverse 2 ½ somersault, to bring his total to 318.00 with two dives remaining.
McCrory’s highest-scoring dive of the evening came in the fifth round, when he was awarded 91.20 points – including two 10.0s – on his armstand. The Duke junior then closed his list with 86.70 points on an inward 3 ½ somersault to bring his total score to 495.90, securing him his third NCAA title in the event. Stanford’s Kristian Ipsen, the 2013 NCAA champion on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards, took second at 452.90 while Conor Murphy of Indiana came in third with 422.15 points.
“It feels great,” McCrory said. “Platform has been my event all my life, so I’m really happy to be coming here and going 3-for-3 on the platform at NCAAs. This was definitely a tough year, transitioning from the Olympics back into school and collegiate diving, but I wanted this and I worked hard to be where I am right now.”
The first-place finish on the platform wraps up a strong showing by McCrory at the 2013 NCAA Championships, as he also collected runner-up finishes in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard competitions. His performances on all three boards placed the Blue Devil men 17th out of 40 programs in the final team standings, with the 17th-place finish marking the highest for the men’s program during McCrory’s career at Duke.
“He was amazing today,” said diving coach Drew Johansen. “It was the best performance he’s turned in between all three boards and this is probably one of the most difficult meets in the world – it’s so physically challenging for three days in a row. Finishing on the platform, which is the most demanding event, he just did great.”
Now a nine-time All-American across the three diving disciplines, McCrory has advanced to the championship final of every event he has competed in at the NCAA Championships. This season has seen him win an NCAA title, three All-America accolades and three Atlantic Coast Conference titles while becoming the most decorated diver in the history of the ACC with a total of seven conference diving crowns for his career. Duke’s most successful diver on the men’s side and the men’s program’s only individual national champion, McCrory also captured an Olympic bronze medal in synchronized platform diving along with fellow American David Boudia at the 2012 London Games prior to the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
“All the pressure that I’ve felt is from myself,” McCrory said. “I have the best support from Duke and Drew. I really wanted this championship. It’s been difficult coming off of the Olympics and back into collegiate diving, but I used that as fuel and it motivated me. I’m really happy with the result.”