TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Former Blue Devil and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Abby Johnston secured a trip to the 2014 FINA Diving World Cup, pairing with Laura Ryan to win the women’s synchronized three-meter event Friday at the USA Diving World Cup Synchronized Diving Trials.
Johnston paired with Ryan, who is a senior at Georgia, to total 606.60 points over their two list of dives. The duo will move on to represent the United States at the FINA World Diving Cup July 15-20 in Shanghai. The World Cup is the top international meet of the 2014 season.
After leading the field during the preliminary round with a score of 297.90, Johnston and Ryan turned in a solid performance during Friday afternoon’s final to earn the first-place finish. Maren Taylor (Texas) and Deidre Freeman (Iowa) were second with 533.40 points while Amanda Burke (Penn State) and Ariel Rittenhouse (Florida State) took third with a score of 511.20.
The competition was the first for Johnston on the three-meter board since she captured the silver medal in synchronized three-meter diving with fellow American Kelci Bryant at the 2012 London Games.
“I competed 1-meter at two college meets (for Duke) last year, but I’ve had a bad shoulder. This was my first 3-meter meet since the Olympics, so I was a little nervous up there. As soon as I got going, I was reminded why I love competing and why I love diving,” said Johnston, who competed in Shanghai at the 2011 World Championships. “I can’t wait for World Cup. It’ll be good to be back in Shanghai and for me to back in the international scene.”
The World Cup trials also marked the debut of Johnston and Ryan as a synchro team. The two were matched together at a USA Diving camp less than two weeks ago.