Allison Brennan Wins USA Diving Grand Prix
May 9, 2009
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - South Carolina assistant diving coach Allison Brennan became the first American in eight years to win a gold medal at a Grand Prix event as she took first place in the 3-meter diving competition at the USA Diving Grand Prix on Saturday, beating the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the finals.
"This is really, really phenomenal," South Carolina head diving coach Todd Sherritt said. "It's the first time in a really long time that an American has beaten a Chinese diver, and for it to be Allison just make it even more special. She didn't even make finals at Spring Nationals a couple of weeks ago, and then she goes out and wins this meet. Just a fantastic performance."
Brennan won the women's 3-meter gold with a score of 358.55, with a best 76.85 on her final dive. Russia's Anastasia Pozdniakova was second at 340.55, and Canada's Jennifer Abel took bronze with 331.95 points. 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist Wu Minxia of China finished fourth, and Christina Loukas, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, scored 319.95 points for fifth.
"All the divers I go against are talented, and it's an honor to be up against them," Brennan said. "You're competing against the best in the world, but I can only do what I can do."
It marks the first international victory for Brennan, who placed fourth at last year's U.S. Diving Grand Prix, second at the 2007 Italian Grand Prix and sixth at the 2007 World Championships. Brennan, who won South Carolina's only NCAA Championship in 2004, will now join with another former Gamecock, Michelle Davison Sandelin, to attempt to qualify for the upcoming World Championships in the 3-meter synchronized event.