When sports fans think of Florida State University and the University of Indiana, the initial images are probably of college football and college basketball.
After all, those schools have produced Deion Sanders and Isiah Thomas. Derrick Brooks and Victor Oladipo. Sebastian Janikowski and Jared Jeffries. Anquan Boldin and Eric Gordon. Antonio Cromartie and Walt Bellamy. Jameis Winston and George McGinnis.
Platform diving may not even register for those fans, even though athletes from those two schools compete in that sport at the highest level. In Rio, Indiana’s Jessica Parratto and Florida State’s Katrina Young were part of the women’s 10-meter platform diving competition.
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Parratto finished 10th in the 10m platform on Thursday, competing against the best women’s divers in the world. Young did not qualify for the finals, placing 13th in the semifinals. The Chinese duo of Ren Qian (439.25) and Si Yajie (419.40) won gold and silver. Canadian diver Meaghan Benfeito's score of 389.20 earned bronze.
Both Parratto and Young qualified for the semifinals during Wednesday afternoon's preliminary round. Parratto's score of 346.80 was third best, behind Si (397.80) and Ren (385.80). Young's 313.85 ranked 12th.
The top 18 divers in the preliminary advanced to the semifinals. The top 12 divers in the semifinals qualified for the finals.
“This competition meant a lot to me,” Parratto told USADiving.com on Aug. 9, according to Seacostonline.com, after she and diving partner Amy Cozad were seventh in the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving discipline.
The synchronized 10-meter dive and the 10-meter individual are Parratto’s specialties in Rio. She said she's excited to "get another shot at competing,” she said.
It’s a philosophy she shares with Young.
“I’m so stoked,” Young told the Tallahassee Democrat on July 4. “I’m just really looking to turn around and get prepared for it. I want to get a medal there. I want to get a gold medal there. In my mind, I’m just preparing for this meet. It’s just another meet.”
The individual 10-meter is Young’s lone event in Rio. And she has high expectations.
“I want an Olympic gold medal,” Young told the Seattle Times on July 20. “And I believe I can do that. When I started in athletics, I told my parents—I told anyone who would listen—that I wanted to be an Olympian. I really held onto that for my whole life and I do think that you can make your dreams come true. I’m doing that. I’m living my dream and it feels incredible. I’m ready to go already.”
Young, 24, and Parratto, 22, made the U.S. Olympic Diving Team at the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials on June 25. Parratto recorded 1,030.05 points to win the competition and guarantee her spot on the team. Young’s score of 982.10 was second best. Cozad (937.25, fourth best) and Murphy Bromberg (958.40, third best) were also in the competition.
Rio is the culmination of lifetimes worth of work for Parratto and Young. Young, who graduated from Florida State in 2015, participated in the 2013 World University Games and was a member of the 2014 World Cup team. She also competed in the 2015 NCAA Championships for the Seminoles.
Parratto, who is redshirting this year at Indiana, according to the Indianapolis Star, was the 2015 NCAA platform champion, and competed in the 2011 and 2015 World Championships.