Tops Cardinell by over 40 points

Updated: July 23, 2004, 10:22 PM ET
Associated Press

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. -- Rachelle Kunkel won her third straight women's 1-meter springboard title Thursday at the U.S. national diving championships.

Kunkel, of West Valley City, Utah, beat Cassandra Cardinell 295.83 points to 254.31. Though she failed to advance to the 3-meter springboard finals at the championships, she will represent the United States in that event at the Athens Olympics.

"Yesterday was a huge bummer. It was terrible," Kunkel said of the 3-meter failure. "I'm definitely going to learn from that experience."

She qualified for the 3-meter in Athens last month and the Olympics trials.

Kunkel said she decided to enter the 1-meter as a lark three weeks ago, having concentrated on the 3-meter in preparation of the Olympics. The 1-meter is not an Olympic event.

Troy Dumais, seeking his third straight national title in the men's 3-meter springboard, led Chris Colwill 659.73 to 549.84 after the semifinal round. Andrew Bradley was third with 538.11 points.

Dumais, of The Woodlands, Texas, will represent the United States at the Olympics in the 3-meter springboard and the 3-meter synchronized springboard with his older brother, Justin.

"There's a lot of work still to do," Dumais said of his Olympic preparations. "I'm just going with the flow and enjoying it. I want the Olympics to come, but I don't want to be antsy for them."

The top eight Thursday advanced to Sunday's final. Other qualifiers included Caesar Garcia, of Baton Rouge, La. He was the platform champion at the Olympic trials and will represent the United States in that event at Athens.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press