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Originally published Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 3:09 PM

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McCrory leads platform prelims at US trials

Nick McCrory's consistency overcame David Boudia's perfection in the 10-meter platform preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic diving trials on Tuesday.

AP Sports Writer

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Nick McCrory's consistency overcame David Boudia's perfection in the 10-meter platform preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic diving trials on Tuesday.

McCrory totaled 512.80 points over six rounds to narrowly stay ahead of Boudia, who had 508.80. The duo partners on 10-meter synchro, and they own a commanding lead going into Thursday's final in that event.

Thomas Finchum, who finished 12th on platform at the Beijing Olympics, was third at 496.95. Scores carry over each round, and the top three men had a sizeable lead over the other 15 divers who advanced to the evening semifinals. The trio boasts the most international experience of any U.S. man on platform.

Christopher Law was fourth at 410.95, followed by David Bonuchi at 408.90 and Toby Stanley with 394.10.

McCrory faltered only on his last dive, but so did Boudia, who closed with the same backward 2 1/2 somersaults with 2 1/2 twists that McCrory did.

Boudia received three perfect marks of 10.0 on third and fourth dives, two that he said he typically struggles on. He entered the water with barely a splash on his third dive, a forward 41/2 somersaults, and again on his reverse 3 1/2 somersaults.

"I hear it, but it doesn't scare me," Finchum said. "If anything it makes me want to do my dives better."

Boudia's 10s came after he missed his second dive.

"I was like, `I'm nervous? This is trials, I've been on 5,000 stages bigger than this,'" Boudia said, adding that his miss served as a wake-up call. "The nerves de-hyped and I started getting in gear."

Finchum, who first made a splash as a tiny 15-year-old at the 2005 world championships, is trying to make his second Olympic team after going through what he called four "very difficult" years. He had right shoulder surgery at the end of 2010, the first serious adversity he's faced in his career.

"Everything went easy for me when I was little," he said. "It would mean a lot more to me because of what I've had to persevere through. It has made me so much stronger."

In women's 3-meter springboard, Cassidy Krug is in position to make her first Olympic team after quitting the sport four years ago when she finished eighth at trials.

The 26-year-old daughter of two diving coaches from Pittsburgh was in first place with 359.40 points during the five-round preliminary session.

"Prelims are tough and I haven't always been good in them," said Krug, who was fourth after her first dive before taking over the lead for good.

Having been around the sport her entire life because her parents coach at the university and club levels, Krug gave it up for a year before returning in 2010. She's come on strong since, winning four national springboard titles, including this year's winter nationals.

Christina Loukas, a 2008 Olympian whose family owns the popular Cubby Bear Lounge near Wrigley Field in Chicago, was second at 321.85. She finished fourth on springboard at last year's world championships in Shanghai, the best finish by an American woman at the meet since 1994, and was ninth in Beijing.

Loukas' takeoff on her second dive wasn't good and she earned her lowest scores. But she rebounded from sixth place at the start to put herself in position to challenge Krug in the next round.

"I know I didn't really hit anything, so I'll be able to in the semis," she said. "Prelims is a pretty hard event, just the pressure of the whole meet."

The top 18 divers advanced to the evening semifinals at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, south of Seattle.

Bianca Alvarez was third at 312.50, followed by Kassidy Cook at 300.15 and Abby Johnston in fifth at 293.60. Kelci Bryant, a 2008 Olympian, was eighth.

Krug finished strongly, earning her highest score of 76.50 for a 2 1/2 somersault with one twist.

"I've done the work and I'm ready,'" she said. "I need to set my environment and let it come out."

Ariel Rittenhouse, who teamed with Bryant to finish fourth in 3-meter synchro at the Beijing Olympics, finished 31st and last. She struggled throughout the round, aborting an incorrect dive in the third round and hitting the water with a thud in the fourth round. She took time off after Beijing and transferred colleges before settling at Florida State.

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