Ruiz wins 10-meter platform

Updated: April 11, 2004, 1:11 AM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- U.S. national team members Mark Ruiz and Rachelle Kunkel won titles Saturday in the American Cup diving competition at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

Ruiz, sixth in the 10-meter platform at the 2000 Olympics, won the event with 1,036.17 points. Kunkel took the women's 3-meter springboard with 772.41 points.

Kunkel, representing the Trojan Dive Club of Los Angeles, was second in the competition after the semifinals. Her final dive -- a forward pike 3½ somersault -- earned her 70.68 points, good enough to hold off the University of Iowa's Nancilea Underwood and 2000 U.S. Olympian Sara Hildebrand.

Ruiz entered the final in the top spot and stayed there throughout the competition. His second dive, an inward tuck 3½ somersault, which carried a difficulty degree of 3.2, was the best of the night, registering an 86.4. Ruiz topped fellow national team members Caesar Garcia (1,107.87) and Thomas Finchum (977.55).

The event, which began Thursday, was the last chance for divers to earn points toward qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials, scheduled for June 7-13 in St. Peters, Mo.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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