Two former BYU divers will be going on to represent the United States in the Olympic games in Athens after finishing in second place at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials over the weekend.
Rachelle Kunkel, an All-American with BYU on the 1-meter springboard in 1999 and 2000, was in second place heading into the finals of the 3-meter springboard competition and held off 2000 Olympian Michelle Davison to finish with a score of 874.38.
Kunkel also went back and forth in standings with the eventual champion Kimiko Soldati. Kunkel said she had an idea of how the standings were shaping up, but didn't pay too much attention.
"I was aware," she said, "but I don't watch the scoreboard a ton. Just want to see what kind of scores I received and just vaguely aware of where I'm at. Also, I heard a cameraman say I was in front, so that kind of gave it away."
Kunkel will now go on to the Olympic games, pending final approval from the Olympic Committee.
"My goal coming in here was to just dive consistent and normal for what I train for." She said.
Justin Wilcock, another former All-American for the Cougars, found himself in third place by only one point heading into the finals of the men's 3-meter springboard competition on Friday.
Wilcock, who earned All-American honors in the 10-meter platform in 1998, scored 8 and 9's in his first three dives overtaking eventual winner Troy Dumais. Wilcock finished with a score of 1,117.38 behind Dumais' 1,151.37.
"When a diver steps up to the plate like he did, he elevates the contest." Dumais said. "He did a heck of a job. I am so proud of him. He has worked so hard. This is his night."
Dumais has been training with Wilcock and had already secured a spot on the Olympic team after qualifying in the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard on Wednesday. Wilcock was still in a state of shock when asked how he felt about his win.
"I still think it is a bit of disbelief," Wilcock said. "It is something that I have worked for and dreamed about for so long. I think I am still in a bit of shock."