Rider Grad Burke 7th at World Championships
BARCELONA, Spain – Amanda Burke ’10 and her partner Samantha Pickens finished seventh in the women’s synchronized 3-meter dive final at the FINA World Aquatic Championships on Saturday.
Burke and Pickens, both competing in their first World Championships, scored 284.64 points in the final. It was their first international meet together as a synchro team, and their score was less than eight points behind bronze medalists Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware of Canada (292.08). China’s Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao captured the gold at 338.40, with silver going to Italy’s Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape at 307.80.
Burke and Pickens improved their score from the preliminaries by nearly 20 points as the duo scored 265.92 in the morning session when the nerves came out in their first World Championships.
In the finals, Burke and Pickens scored more than 63 points on all three of their optional dives, including a back 2 ½ pike that earned 68.40 points.
In the morning preliminaries, only one optional dive went for more than 60 points.
“We just continue to keep growing as a team. This is only the second time we’ve competed together, and this was great experience for us,” Burke said.
The three-time Rider Athlete of the Year, Burke (Southampton, PA/William Tennent) qualified for the 15th FINA World Championships by placing first in the three meter Synchronized Springboard at the USA Diving FINA World Championship Trials in Tallahassee, Florida in May.
Earlier this year Burke was in Fort Lauderdale for the AT&T Grand Prix meet, an international meet that she qualified for last summer by placing in the top two at the National Championships. At the Grand Prix Burke was the only female springboard diver from the US to make the finals and finish at the top of this international field. At the competition which represented 20 different countries from around the world, Burke finished fifth out of 22 athletes in her event.
In June of 2012 Burke and her former partner, Summer Allman, placed third in the finals of the 3-meter Synchronized Springboard dive at the US Olympic Team Trials. “Summer retired to have a baby,” Burke said.
As a senior at Rider Burke was the Eastern College Athletic Conference Champion and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champion in both the one-meter and the three-meter dives, earning Diver of the Year honors at both championships while leading Rider to the MAAC Title for the first time since 2003.
Burke owns all five Rider team diving records and all four Rider Pool diving records, as well as both MAAC diving records.
In August, 2011 Burke qualified for the Olympic Trials in two events, by placing second in three-meter synchronized dive and sixth in the three-meter dive at the U. S. National Diving Championships, held at UCLA.
She also won the one-meter dive at the 2011 AT&T National Championships, although the one-meter is not an Olympic event.