Brittany Viola advances to 10-meter semifinals but misses finals in London
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YORK -- The Mets have three former Olympians in their clubhouse, in pitchers Jon Rauch and R.A. Dickey and first-base coach Tom Goodwin. A fourth Met, general manager Sandy Alderson, helped construct the 2000 Team USA baseball team in Sydney.
So it was of little surprise that the Mets community paid extra attention to the women's 10-meter platform diving competition Thursday in London, where former pitcher Frank Viola's daughter, Brittany, advanced to the semifinals.
"I've got a lot of support and love here," the younger Viola told The Associated Press in London. "I heard a couple of my friends."
The Mets gave Frank Viola, the pitching coach for their Class A affiliate in Savannah, six days off to fly to London and watch his daughter dive. He arrived Tuesday with his son, Frank Viola III, according to AP. His wife, Kathy, and other daughter, Kaley, arrived in London last week.
"I'm enjoying this as much as her," Viola told AP.
In sixth place after two dives in the preliminary round, Brittany Viola finished in 14th in the preliminaries with a score of 322.55, making her one of 18 divers -- and one of two Americans -- to advance to the 10-meter platform semifinals.
However, she finished 15th in the semifinals on Thursday, falling short of qualifying for the finals.
"It's a lot easier going out for Game 7 knowing you have the ball in your hand and you're in control," Frank Viola, who started Games 1, 4 and 7 of the 1987 World Series for the Twins, told The AP. "In the stands, you're a parent and have no control."