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Tops Cardinell by over 40 points

7/23/2004

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.