The U.S. Olympic Diving Team tripled in size Friday as the synchro pairs of Mike Hixon and Andrew Capobianco (men's synchronized springboard) and Delaney Schnell and Jessica Parratto (women's synchornized platform) booked their spots in Tokyo.
They join the duo of Alison Gibson and Krysta Palmer, who qualified in the women’s synchro springboard Thursday, to round out the American team of synchronized divers. The U.S. did not earn an Olympic quota spot in the men’s synchro platform.
Both Hixon/Capobianco and Schnell/Parratto entered Friday’s final rounds with large leads in their respective events. Unlike at the Olympics, the U.S. Trials combine scores across all rounds, so each dive factors into the final standing. Both pairs avoided major errors in performing their final lists, securing their Olympic berths with relative comfort.
Hixon, 26, now heads to Tokyo hoping to repeat, or exceed, the success he experienced with then-partner Sam Dorman at the Rio 2016 Olympics when they won silver in the men’s synchro springboard. Dorman retired from the sport in 2018, at which point Hixon began competing with the younger Capobianco, 21.
Dorman watched the final round from IU Natatorium stands, then handed Capobianco his commemorative Olympics ring after the final dive in a show of support.
“I’m really proud of [Andrew], the way he stepped up all week,” Hixon said after the round. “Couldn’t ask for a better synchro partner. No way.”
The duo competed together at the 2019 World Championships, finishing 8th. Capobianco will compete at his first Olympics this summer
As will the 22-year-old Schnell, a former gymnast from Tucson, Arizona. However, she’ll be able to draw on the Olympic experience of her partner, Parratto, who competed in both the individual and synchro platform events in Rio. She finished 10th and seventh in those events, respectively.
“I feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been and obviously [Delaney] is amazing as well, so I’m excited to fight to get on that podium in Tokyo,” Parratto said.
Schnell and Parratto held off the team of Murphy Bromberg and Katrina Young, bronze medalists at 2019 Worlds, to earn the Olympic spot.
All four divers that made the Olympic team Friday are in the mix for individual spots as well, but have work to do. Schnell and Parratto sit third and fourth, respectively, in the individual platform competition behind Young and Bromberg through 10 dives. Hixon is in a close third place in the men’s springboard, while Capobianco is sixth.
The U.S. Diving Trials continue with finals through the weekend. They can be seen live on NBC (schedule here) and will also be streaming on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.
Men's Synchronized Springboard
1. Capobianco/Hixon, 1289.37
2. Duncan/Campbell, 1168.80
3. Tyler/Miller, 1051.68
4. Ryan/Henninger, 1028.19
Women's Synchronized Platform
1. Schnell/Parratto, 930.00
2. Young/Bromberg, 888.54
Clinched Olympic spots