KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Jordan Windle is a national champion diver before he’s old enough to be a licensed driver.
Windle, who doesn’t turn 16 until November, convincingly won the men’s 10-meter title with 527.8 points Sunday to cap the final day of the U.S. national diving championships. Windle exceeded 90 points on each of his first three dives.
He started his day by earning 103.6 points on a forward 41/2-somersault tuck. That was the only 100-point dive by anyone in the six-day event.
“It definitely boosted my confidence,” Windle said. “From there on, my coach was really excited for me and just told me to have fun and stuff. That’s what I did through the whole event.”
This is the latest chapter in Windle’s compelling rise.
Windle was born in Cambodia and was placed in an orphanage as a baby after his parents died. He was adopted as an 18-month-old and moved to the United States. He now lives in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Windle started diving at age 7. When school ended his family wanted him to go to summer camp. A diving camp happened to be available.
“That was the only one that was open that I could get into because it was a little late getting into one,” Windle said. “I just thought it was a very interesting sport, so I just did it from there on.”
Although Windle earned four gold medals and one silver at the junior national championships this month, Sunday marked his best day yet as a diver. Windle won the 10-meter championship by nearly an 85-point margin over Mark Anderson, who had 442.9 points. Zachary Cooper was third with 426.55.
Windle wasn’t the only diver with reason to celebrate.
Ariel Rittenhouse of Santa Cruz, California, closed a productive week by winning the women’s 3-meter competition with 350.45 points. Laura Ryan was second with 336.75 points and Elisabeth Dawson was third with 328.5.
Rittenhouse, a 2008 Olympian, had teamed with Amanda Burke of Southampton, Pennsylvania, to win the 3-meter synchronized title a day earlier. Rittenhouse also placed second in the 1-meter Wednesday.
“I feel really good about how I did,” Rittenhouse said. “I was pretty consistent all week, which was nice. It was a very long week … and so I’m just happy with how consistent I dove and that I was able to keep it up all week.”
Joining Rittenhouse as a double winner was Samantha Bromberg of Bexley, Pennsylvania. Bromberg and Emma Ivory-Ganja of The Woodlands, Texas, college teammates at Texas, won the women’s 10-meter synchronized title Sunday with 305.16 points. Rachel Rubadue and Olivia Rosendahl finished second with 258.33 points. Brooke Pospichal and Annie Wiese were third.