Southlake’s Hailey Hernandez didn’t medal early Sunday morning, but she was all smiles after her final dive at the Tokyo Olympics. The 18-year-old, the youngest in this year’s competition, finished in ninth place of the Women’s 3-meter springboard final.
The teenager, who graduated from Carroll High School in May, competed in her first Olympic games after qualifying earlier this summer. She beat out three other divers in the final round with a total score of 288.45.
Fellow American Krysta Palmer made some history for the U.S.A with a bronze medal. She became the first American woman to medal in the individual 3-meter springboard since 1988.
China’s Shi Tingmao and Wang Han took home the gold and silver medals.
China has won gold in this event in nine straight Olympic games, and has taken home the gold and silver medals in the same year six times during that span.
But like the first two rounds, Hernandez made up some ground following her first attempt on Sunday.
Hernandez was in 12th place after Round 1 with a score of 58.05, however, she jumped up to as high as seventh place after scoring a 58.80 with her third attempt.
All 12 divers in the final round had to perform five dives.
Dives were scored based on level of difficulty, which ranged from 2.7 to 3.4.
Hernandez, who will continue her career at the University of Texas as a freshman in the fall, finished the semifinal round with a score of 291.60. She was one of seven divers to score a 300 in the preliminary round on Friday.
Despite being seven years younger than the average age in the field, Hernandez climbed the standings after nearly every attempt during the three-day event. She started Friday’s prelims in 16th before getting into sixth. She was 15th in the semis before climbing up five spots.
Hernandez won four UIL state and regional championships while at Carroll. Outside of high school, she is a 10-time Junior National champion and two-time Senior National champion.