Woodlands diver earns spot on US Olympic team

A Houston-area athlete got a measure of redemption Sunday by qualifying for her first U.S. Olympic team in the women's 3-meter.

Kassidy Cook's comeback has been the best story of trials week.

Four years after falling less than a half-point short of making the team in women's synchro 3-meter and after three injuries gave her less than 18 months to train full time for the Olympics, the 21-year-old who grew up in The Woodlands led from start to finish in the individual 3-meter finals and landed one of the two spots on the American team with a score of 1,003.65. Her good friend, Abby Johnston, who was part of the team that knocked Cook out of the London Olympics, also made the team.

After her final dive, an ecstatic Cook sprinted to her Johnston and gave her a hug. Coach Ken Then Cook was next in line, and then Cook sprinted up the steps to the judge's stand, hopped over the railing and into the crowd where she began hugging her family friends.

Johnston also climbed into the stands.

And Cook just couldn't wipe away that beaming All-American smile.

"I'm at a loss for words because it all happened so fast," Cook said, speaking with the pace of an auctioneer. "It's still all a blur right now. And my awesome teammate ran up and gave me her Olympic ring -- it's kind of a tradition."

Johnston, who earned a silver medal in synchro 3-meter at the London Olympics, seemed just excited for her friend as she was about making her second Olympic team and her first in an individual event.

"I'm so thrilled for her," Johnston said. "She deserves it. It was so hard four years ago because we are such good friends, it really weighed on me to see someone so sad. Now, we're going to go kick butt in Rio as teammates."

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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