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Amherst’s Michael Hixon prepared for another shot at U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

Revealed: 6/6/2021 6:25:35 PM

A silver medal received’t purchase Michael Hixon something on the 2021 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials. The Amherst native will start his quest to make a second consecutive Olympic group this week in Indianapolis competing in two occasions: the boys’s 3-meter springboard and males’s 3-meter springboard synchro with associate Andrew Capobianco.

“Having been on a group earlier than doesn’t give me something. The rating is tied at zero,” Hixon stated. “Simply because I’ve been there earlier than doesn’t imply I’ve any benefit.”

The synchro prelims start at 11 a.m. Monday, and the semifinals start later that night at 7 p.m. on the Olympic Channel. The finals are 7 p.m Friday on the Olympic Channel.

The person springboard prelims begin Wednesday at 10 a.m., and the semifinals observe at 7 p.m on the Olympic Channel. NBC will air the person ultimate at 6:35 p.m. Saturday.

Solely the highest synchro group qualifies for the Olympics, whereas the highest two people within the springboard will make Group USA.

Hixon, 26, certified for each occasions on the 2016 Rio De Janeiro video games, and he and associate Sam Dorman claimed a silver medal in synchro. Within the intervening years, Hixon added extra All-American honors at Indiana and claimed a nationwide title on the one-meter board. He modified synchro companions from Dorman – who retired – to fellow Hoosier Capobianco.

When the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to this summer season, Hixon was in Indiana coaching. He saved coaching all year long, diving wherever he might discover a board and sufficient depth within the water. Hixon practiced at neighborhood swimming pools and even in a yard in Michigan to remain sharp for this chance.

“It was any port in a storm, wherever I might discover to dive till the autumn,” he stated. “There’s a whole lot of silver linings. I get to dive for an additional 12 months. I wasn’t constructive I used to be going to retire, however it seems an increasing number of like I might retire after the Olympics. I received to maintain doing a factor that I like.”

Hixon additionally saved bettering. He cleaned up areas that hampered him, notably a reverse one-and-a-half with three and a half twists.

“We attacked it from a unique angle,” he stated.

Whereas Hixon’s earlier time on Group USA received’t rating him any factors, his years of worldwide competitors have helped put together him mentally for the pains of the trials.

“I really feel like I’ve been by way of it sufficient to comprehend it’s going to take consistency. It doesn’t take something out of this world particular,” Hixon stated. “It takes doing an excellent job for 18 dives in every occasion.”

He’ll have one other benefit from his 2016 expertise: extra chemistry together with his synchro associate. Hixon and Capobianco have been diving collectively since 2018. They positioned eighth on the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, and certified the US’ Olympic slot with a fourth-place end on the FINA World Cup in Tokyo final month.

“I really feel actually good about the place we’re and the place we’re as a synchro group. I all the time say probably the most excessive stress meet is the World Cup proper earlier than the Olympics,” Hixon stated. “It’s extra stress than the trials, extra stress than the Olympic video games. For those who don’t present up there not solely is your Olympic run over, your nation doesn’t even get to compete.”

That’s actually what Hixon needs: an opportunity to compete and end his profession at a meet.

“This complete factor seemed prefer it was going to be taken away from us. I keep in mind pondering in December and February, pondering it wouldn’t occur,” he stated. “You’d hate to finish your profession at a follow. The truth that we get to finish on a meet is unbelievable.”

Kyle Grabowski may be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Comply with him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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