FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (AP) -- Mark Ruiz and Troy Dumais, best friends and rivals for eight years, are going on a most excellent adventure together -- the Sydney Olympics.
''All year, we've been saying we're going to make the Olympic team, you and me,'' Ruiz said, looking at his closest pal in diving. ''I'm sure we'll bring home some medals.''
Ruiz almost didn't qualify, needing a spectacular dive on his final attempt to rise from fourth to first in the 3-meter springboard Thursday night at the U.S. trials.
Dumais, of Ventura, Calif., overcame a painful bout with kidney stones hours before the competition to earn the second berth. He passed two stones at a hospital, then arrived at the pool and earned three perfect 10.0s on his fourth dive.
''It's been a long day, but it's all worth it,'' said Dumais, who totaled 1,120.32 points.
Ruiz, of Orlando, Fla., finished first with 1,130.67 points as the heavy favorite. He'll get another chance to make the 10-meter platform team beginning Saturday.
Third place went to P.J. Bogart of Mesa, Ariz., with 1,115.61 points.
Ruiz, Dumais and '96 Olympian David Pichler shared in the evening's drama, but only Ruiz and Dumais enjoyed a happy ending.
Pichler, who led after the preliminary and semifinal rounds, remained in first going into his final dive. But he over-rotated his entry into the water from a reverse 3 1/2 somersault, creating a major splash that drew groans from the crowd at King County Aquatic Center.
The oldest man at the trials, Pichler, 31, realized his fate upon emerging from the water. His scores ranging from 4.0 to 6.0 gave him a total of 1,113.68 and plummeted him from first to fourth.
An unsmiling Pichler, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., walked slowly toward the locker room, bypassing Ruiz and Dumais as they celebrated with hugs. Pichler will have another chance to make the team beginning Saturday on the 10-meter platform.
''I'm sure David will be focused on his next event,'' said Pichler's coach, Patrick Jeffrey. ''He'll put this behind him.''
Ruiz's last dive, a reverse 3 1/2 somersault with a half-twist, was perfect. The crowd knew it even before the judges' scores revealed a 10.0 to go with 9.5s and 9.0s.
''I said all along I just wanted to have a chance to make the team,'' he said. ''That dive has gotten me a lot of things, and it's a good dive for me. When I went underwater, I knew I did a good one.''
Ruiz stuck his head above water and pumped his right fist as he stroked toward the pool's edge.
Combined with a 3.5 degree of difficulty -- equaling the toughest dive attempted by any of the 13 finalists -- his score of 98.70 was the best of the night.
It was a remarkable comeback, considering he began the night in fifth place and dropped to sixth after a poor performance on his second of six dives.
''There were no worries,'' Ruiz said. ''I thought I was out of it.''
Dumais vowed during his hospital visits that he would compete. He credited a doctor at St. Francis Hospital for waiving the three-hour emergency room wait to treat him within five minutes.
''If I'm anywhere near walking, I'm diving,'' Dumais said. ''I worked too hard since 1996 to step out of competition. I wanted to take my bow on the board.''
Doctors used a medication that wasn't on the list of banned drugs.
''It's the worst thing ever,'' said Dumais, who went to the hospital initially at 2 a.m. and had a relapse about 5 p.m. ''It's like your whole side is about to explode.''
Rio Ramirez of Miami, who defected from Cuba in 1993 and has yet to receive permission from his former country to compete for the United States, didn't qualify, finishing eighth.
Dumais' older brother, 21-year-old Justin, finished last among the finalists.
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