Cortney Crowned National Champion
RIVERSIDE, Calif.-- Boise State rising sophomore diver Ciera Cortney claimed a national title Monday, at the AAU Diving National Championships in Riverside, Calif. Cortney won the three-meter competition in the top flight of the 18-year-old age group with a nine-dive score of 374.65.
Cortney finished the preliminary round in second place. Each competitor's dive list is made up of five voluntary dives and four optional dives. The nine-dive score from prelims sets the field of 12 for finals.The combined score of the voluntary dives is carried over to the finals where the divers compete their optional list again to determine a champion.
Cortney's five voluntary dives netted a carry-over score of 178.75, putting her eighth. The Las Vegas native inched closer in the finals after two steady dives. She took control of the event after the third round when she nailed her inward two-and-a-half somersault tuck scoring a 56.7, the highest-scoring single dive of the finals. Cortney stayed composed through the final round and held on to win the title by 5.35 points.
"Ciera continues to become more comfortable and confident with her optionals, which has really allowed her to focus on the few things she needs to do to make her dives great," said head diving coach David Legler. "That is translating into finals, helping her to stay consistent during her second (dive) list where it can be a little bit tougher to stay relaxed and focused after a long day."
Cortney also competed in the one-meter event Sunday, taking home a silver medal. Continuing her trend of performing on the biggest stage, Cortney climbed four spots during the finals. Her carry-over score put her in sixth place. She hit all four of her dives, with the highest scores in the second and third rounds of finals and the second-best scores in the first and fourth rounds.
Cortney will become the first Bronco to compete at the USA Diving Senior National Championships Aug. 11, in Los Angeles.
"I just want to perform the best that I can," Cortney said of the upcoming meet featuring Olympic divers. "It's going to be really intimidating competing against such great divers, but being able to step on the same board as them is an honor in itself."

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