Moses Leads Women’s 3-Meter; Lenzi Fifth in Men’s 3-Meter Prelim
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ If Angie Trostel can keep her overeager parents in check, she might just earn a trip to the Atlanta Olympics.
Trostel was second after the 3-meter semifinals Thursday at the U.S. diving trials, barely nine points behind Melisa Moses, who was first with 525.39 points.
Defending Olympic champion Mark Lenzi showed the effects of a 20-month retirement, finishing fifth in the men’s 3-meter preliminaries with a 433.56 total.
Scott Donie, the 1992 Olympic silver medalist on the 10-meter board, took the lead from Dean Panaro after the third of six optional dives. Donie, who was fourth on the springboard at the ’92 trials, was first with 475.38 points.
``For me, this is the hardest part,″ Donie said. ``I sort of come on in the finals, but there’s a long way to go.″
Panaro stunned the crowd at the Indiana University Natatorium on his opening dive, a forward 3 1/2 somersault with a 3.1 degree of difficulty, that earned four marks of 9.5 and two 9.0s from the seven judges. Panaro totaled 458.67.
``I did two good dives and the rest I just landed on my head as usual,″ he said. ``I may not be one of the favorites in your eyes or the eyes of the diving world, but Scott was the kind of pace car and I just followed him up.″
Lenzi, the local favorite from Bloomington who returned to diving in April 1995, also trails 1988 Olympian Mark Bradshaw and Kevin McMahon of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
All 13 men advanced to Friday’s 3-meter semifinals, with their scores carrying over.
No one is as surprised as Trostel at her strong showing heading into Thursday night’s final, in which the top two finishers make the Olympic team.
``I’m trying to think of it as any other meet, but I can feel the tension in the room,″ she said. ``I didn’t know how I was going to react to this.″
Actually, it was Trostel’s well-intentioned family who got on her nerves before she left the hotel for Wednesday’s preliminaries.
``My parents were driving me nuts. They were all nervous, my dad was pacing back and forth,″ she recalled. ``They were all giving me pep talks. I had to get out of there.″
So she escaped to the pool, to be alone with her music between dives.
The 19-year-old from Cincinnati has never won a senior national diving title, making her the least experienced of the top four women.
Moses of Orange Park, Fla., is a three-time U.S. springboard champion. Jenny Keim, third after the five required dives in the semifinals with 501.75 points, won her first national title in April. Mary Ellen Clark was fourth at 496.89.
Clark, 33, is trying to make her second straight Olympic team. She won a bronze on platform in the 1992 Olympics.
Ron O’Brien, who coaches Keim and Clark in Fort Lauderdale, liked their positions.
``Unless you’ve got an insurmountable lead, you’re better to be just a little bit behind and leave the pressure on the front-runners,″ he said. ``It’s a lot easier to dive in an underdog role than trying protect your position.″
The field of 14 women was cut to 12 after the semifinals, leaving Reyne Borup of Fort Lauderdale and Vanessa Thelin of Orem, Utah, out of the final.
Neither woman competes in the platform, so each is out of chances. Trostel and Clark dive in both events, although Clark did not qualify on springboard in 1992.