Forcucci, Ridenour Head to U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

University of South Carolina GamecocksCOLUMBIA, S.C. June 16, 2012 Recent graduate Courtney Forcucci and rising senior Rylan Ridenour are set to compete at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials, which begin Sunday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

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The trials run through June 24 with more than 120 of the nation’s top divers vying for 14 spots on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team that will compete at 2012 Olympics in London.

Forcucci enters the week with plenty of confidence as she is coming off the best season of her career. The Fort Mill, S.C, native earned two All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA Championships, finishing fifth on the three-meter springboard and 15th in the one-meter competition. At the SEC Championships, she set the SEC and school record to win gold on the three-meter board and claimed bronze on the one-meter board. After suffering a devastating leg injury in the fall of 2009, Forcucci couldn’t be happier with where she is physically and mentally heading into the trials.

“I’m pretty thrilled,” she said. “If you had asked me four years ago if I was going, I would have said no. Being able to go and being able to compete and have a good shot at it is more than I could ever dream of.”

Forcucci will begin competing on Tuesday in the women’s three-meter springboard preliminaries with the semifinals that night and the finals on Saturday. South Carolina diving coach Todd Sherritt believes Forcucci has a good chance to join Vivian Alberty (1996), Michelle Davison (2000) and Tracey Richardson (2004) as Gamecock divers who made it to the Olympics.

“Her training has been awesome,” Sherritt said. “She’s really in a good place right now. We’ve been peaking this week, and there were a couple of things that needed to fall into place. It looks like they are going to when we get there, so I’m pretty excited about her chances.”

Ridenour had a strong season for the Gamecock men, earning SEC Diver of the Week honors on two occasions. A native of Lebanon, Ind., Ridenour had 10 individual wins on the year with the highlight of his season coming against East Carolina in January as he shattered the school record on the three-meter board with a score of 427.43.

“I look for him to have a strong performance out there to help establish himself for possibly the next Olympic games,” Sherritt said. “I think he has learned a lot over the year and has gained some experience, and hopefully he can use that experience in this meet to pull out a great performance and get in the finals. That’s the goal I have for him is to get in the finals or the top 18. Somewhere around there would be pretty impressive.”

Ridenour opens competition on Wednesday with the semifinals scheduled for that night and the finals on Sunday, June 24.

The top 18 individuals from each preliminary will advance to the semifinals, where the number will be cut down to 12 divers for the finals. Only the top two divers from each event will make the U.S. Olympic Diving Team.

Live results for every event will be available by clicking here, while a total of five hours of live coverage will be televised on NBC on June 23-24. The trials will also receive nine hours of live and tape delayed coverage on the NBC Sports Network from June 19-22.