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Wolf Pack alum Krysta Palmer takes big step closer to making Olympic field

Krysta Palmer competes in the Women's 3-meter Springboard Final during the 2018 USA Diving Senior National Championships. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Krysta Palmer inched closer to getting into the Olympics field Sunday with a dominant performance in the Women’s 3-Meter Synchronized.

The graduate of Douglas High and the University of Nevada finished in first place with partner Alison Gibson in the preliminary and semifinal rounds of that event during the U.S. Olympic trials in Indianapolis. Seven synchro teams competed in the first two rounds, with Palmer and Gibson holding a significant advantage going into Thursday's final round.

“I definitely feel Alison and I did really well together," Palmer said after the semifinals. "I think our chemistry that we have together just improved over this last year through COVID even though we couldn’t see each other. Still, we are able to contact each other through FaceTime and all of that. So, I am just so grateful. I think her and I went out there and just wanted to have fun. We did that. We are excited. It's a little different this year. We have three list we have to do. Typically, it's just two. I think the first two lists we did were pretty solid. I think we feel pretty confident going into the third round.”

Gibson and Palmer ended the first round with a score of 291.45, ending their list with a Forward 2 1/2 Somersault 2 Twist Pike (5154B), scoring nearly 25 points ahead of second-place Kassidy Cook and Sarah Bacon. This competition marked first time the duo of Gibson and Palmer added the 5154B, commonly referred to as a double out, to their list, making them one of the only female synchro teams in the world to compete this 3.4 degree of difficulty dive.

Due to COVID-19, Gibson and Palmer had not competing in synchro together since Winter Nationals in 2019 but didn't show any rust.

“I was really happy of how we did," Gibson said. "This is our first time completing the double out ever. Being able to do that well in the prelims, also in the semi really good. I am having a lot of fun competing with Krysta. I think this gives us a lot of confidence going into the finals. I haven’t competed in over a year and half, so a prelim and semi that were really consistent and solid was really nice. It reminds me I love the sport. I got this. It’s really nice gives me a lot of confidence.”

After the semifinal round, Gibson and Palmer have a 21.45-point edge over second-place Cook and Bacon. The top finisher in Team USA's Women’s 3-Meter Synchronized gains a spot in the Olympic field. Palmer is looking to become the first local high school graduate to earn a spot in the Olympic field as a swimmer or diver. Palmer is one of five locals competing in this year's Olympic swimming and diving trials.

The finals will be contested Thursday at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Olympic Channel.

Women’s 3-Meter Synchronized standings

1. Alison Gibson/Krysta Palmer, 594.84 points

2. Sarah Bacon/Kassidy Cook, 573.39 points

3. Samantha Pickens/Carolina Sculti, 532.53 points

4. Kristin Hayden/Margo O’Meara, 513.00 points

5. Hailey Hernandez/ Emily Grund, 510.90 points

6. Daria Lenz/Charlye Campbell, 478.17 points

7. Kaylee Bishop/Avery Worobel, 463.47 points

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