Kristian Ipsen, who will be a freshman at Stanford in the fall, goes against the grain when it comes to keeping things simple. He just can't seem to make it easy on himself. When it comes to diving, that degree of difficulty proved the difference between a championship and being an also-ran.
Ipsen used a high degree of difficulty to win the men's 3-meter national title Saturday at the AT&T National Diving Championships at UCLA.
Stanford grad Cassidy Krug and teammate Kassidy Cook won the women's 3-meter synchro gold.
Brittany Viola won the women's platform title,
Ipsen finished with 499.50 points, taking the lead on his final dive, a difficult front 2 1/2 with 3 twists that carries a 3.9 degree of difficulty.
Trailing by .25 points heading into the last round, he earned 8s and 9s for 93.60 points on the dive, moving him into first place.
Drew Livington, who won the silver medal with 495.30 points, also went with a high DD, scoring 96.80 points on a front 4 1/2 tuck with a 3.8 DD in the last round.
Former NCAA diving champion Troy Dumais, who led heading into the last round, finished third with 490.30 points.
Ipsen has been working on the triple out off and on for about a year and after watching his competitors at last month's World Championships, he knew he needed to try it in a meet.
"In Shanghai, I think eight or nine of the divers in the finals were doing dives with a 3.8 or 3.9 degree of difficulty, so I knew I had to test it out if I want to be competitive internationally," Ipsen told USA Diving. "You have to be consistent, but even if you're consistent, if you don't have one of those big dives, I don't know if that will get you on the medal stand."
Cook and Krug scored 301.86 points to win their third 3-meter synchro national title together after finishing second in the preliminaries.
Stanford grad Dwight Dumais finished sixth in the men's 1-meter event and 10th in the 3-meter.