“Even though he was down a fairly large margin and had to put up a big dive on the last one, everybody knew he was capable of doing it,” head coach Dan Colella said. “I was standing amongst the Arizona athletes and coaches, and they were all standing there with a look of anticipation with Nick as the last diver. When he ripped the dive, you could hear the air come out of them.”
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"To be honest I didn't think I got it when I hit the water," McCrory said. "I was surprised by the scoreboard. I saw my dive and I guess it was better than I thought.”
McCrory moved up the scoreboard to fourth place after his fifth dive—a back two-and-a-half somersault.
“I’m just really proud for my school,” McCrory said. “They’ve done so much to support me and get me here and keep me going. I’m really happy to be representing Duke.”
McCrory also earned bronze on the 1-meter board on Thursday. Earning a total of 412.15 points over six dives, the Blue Devil took third behind Texas' Michael Hixon and Ipsen, who tallied 443.50 and 436.55 points, respectively.
Struggling with his third dive on the 3-meter board in the preliminary round, McCrory hit the water with his hands and feet at nearly the same time. With little chance of making finals after a score of 4.65 points on the dive, the senior withdrew from the event for precautionary measures.
“He dove solidly on the 1-meter and would have like to have done a little better than he did, but it was still a great performance,” Colella said. “He was inspired to do a great job the next day, but halfway through the competition, we have having issues with his knee. With any kind of injury to the knee, they made the right decision to withdraw, especially because he came back the next day and defended his national title and won the platform.”On the swimming side, senior Hunter Knight competed in two events in his first NCAA Championships. In the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday, the senior turned in a time of 53.98 seconds to take 33rd place. Knight placed 37th in the 200-yard breaststroke the next day, touching the wall at 1:57.90.
“For him it is bittersweet,” Colella said. “To make it to the NCAA Championships is quite a feat in itself. We would have loved to have seen him come away with best times or All-American status, but we are incredibly proud of him. We are proud of both the athletes and we are going to miss them terribly.”