Twelve members of the U.S. Olympic diving team, including 28-year-old Troy Dumais of Ventura and 15-year-old Haley Ishimatsu of Seal Beach, will participate this week in the Kaiser Permanente National Diving Championships at the Rose Bowl.
Dumais is a three-time Olympian, and Ishimatsu is an Olympic rookie who will perform on the 10-meter platform and in the platform synchronized competition with 15-year-old partner Mary Beth Dunnichay of Elwood, Ind.
Also competing will be 30-year-old Laura Wilkinson, who won the last U.S. Olympic medal -- platform gold in 2000.
Wilkinson and synchro partner Jessica Livingston filed for arbitration, unhappy Ishimatsu and Dunnichay were picked over them after a diving team camp in Knoxville, Tenn. Wilkinson and Livingston wanted to compete again with Ishimatsu and Dunnichay, but that was denied Saturday.
Ron O'Brien, USA Diving director of high performance, said he didn't expect any lingering emotions from that to affect the U.S. team.
"Laura is at the end of her career and if they felt they had a chance, I think you take every chance to get on the team," he said of the dispute. "But these girls are all mature enough to understand it wasn't anything personal. It was a close decision picking the team, and it had nothing to do with the personalities involved."
O'Brien also said if all the U.S. divers perform at 100% in Beijing, he thought the team could earn as many as three individual medals and three synchronized diving medals.
"The Chinese are the heavy favorites," he said. "It's almost expected they'll sweep all the gold medals and maybe all the silvers. But we'll see. Sometimes it's hard to perform at home."
The U.S. has been trying to revamp its program since being shut out from the victory stand at the 2004 Athens Olympics. There is now a national training center in Indianapolis, and Ishimatsu has spent most of the last two years there.
Ishimatsu's sister, Victoria, also will be competing in Pasadena along with 17 other local divers. The other Olympic divers expected to perform are all Olympic rookies: David Boudia of Noblesville, Ind.; Kelci Bryant of Chatham, Ill.; Chris Colwill of Brandon, Fla.; Thomas Finchum of Indianapolis; Nancilea Foster of Conroe, Texas; Christina Loukas of Riverwoods, Ill.; Ariel Rittenhouse of Santa Cruz; and Jevon Tarantino of Boca Raton, Fla.
Competition begins at 3 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and noon Friday to Sunday.
The men's one-meter final is Wednesday; the women's one-meter final Thursday; the women's three-meter and synchro and men's 10-meter and 10-meter synchro finals Saturday; and the women's 10-meter and 10-meter synchro and men's three-meter and three-meter synchro finals Sunday.
All-session passes are $50 for adults and $35 for children (3-17) and seniors (55 and over). Day passes for the Tuesday through Friday sessions are $10 for adults and $7 for children and seniors. Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. To order, call (213) 480-3232 or go to www.ticketmaster.com.