FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (AP) -- Mark Ruiz made an indelible impression on diving coach Jay Lerew the first time they met at a meet in Orlando, Fla.
Ruiz, then 12, ignored the line of divers waiting their turns to practice and cut in front. He pulled off picture-perfect dives, got out of the pool and went back to the front of the line.
''He had no manners. They couldn't get rid of him,'' Lerew said. ''Everyone is going, 'Who is this guy?' He was a little tiger.''
Ruiz didn't have to cut corners at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday. The 21-year-old Ruiz was ahead of his 12 rivals from the start of the 10-meter platform final, which he won with 1,154.97 points.
Ruiz, a native of Puerto Rico and the heavy favorite, became the first diver since Greg Louganis in 1988 to qualify in two events at the Olympic trials. He won the 3-meter springboard title Thursday.
Lerew said he expects Ruiz to dive in four Olympic events: both 3- and 10-meter individual and 3- and 10-meter synchronized -- a first-time medal event.
''He's not going to be intimidated in the Olympic Games,'' said Lerew, who was named coach of the U.S. team because of Ruiz's double victory. ''He likes to go against the best in the world, and he responds to that.''
Ruiz scored a 10.0 on his last dive of the six-dive final.
''It's awesome,'' he said. ''I wasn't feeling great. I was a little sore and tired. I wanted to win. I didn't want to settle for second.''
Lerew said he was most proud of how Ruiz lived up to the hype, especially after he almost didn't qualify on springboard. Ruiz needed a spectacular dive on his final attempt to rise from fourth to first Thursday.
''He's had so much media attention focused towards him for the last year and a half, just pounding on him, he's the favorite, he's the favorite,'' Lerew said. ''To just sort of slough that off and focus is his best attribute. It's hard to come out of that, you're expected to do it and that's tough pressure.''
David Pichler of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., earned the other platform berth by finishing second with 1,149.75 points. The 31-year-old Pichler, the oldest man at the trials, was sixth in the Atlanta Olympics.
Pichler rebounded three days after a disastrous final dive cost him a springboard spot.
''I got in there and fought the whole way. I kind of sabotaged myself the other day,'' he said. ''Today I wasn't going to let that happen.''
The rest of the U.S. team is: Michelle Davison of Columbia, S.C., and Jenny Keim of Miami (3-meter); Laura Wilkinson of Spring, Texas, and Sara Reiling of St. Paul, Minn. (10-meter); Ruiz and Troy Dumais of Ventura, Calif., (3-meter).
Ron O'Brien, U.S. Diving's national technical director, who coached Louganis to four gold medals, likes Ruiz's chances against medal favorites China and Russia in Sydney.
''Ruiz has a chance to double gold,'' O'Brien said. ''He's got enough degree of difficulty so he's not going to be in a hole there.''
Rio Ramirez, a Cuban immigrant living in Miami, was third with 1,101.66 points. Brent Roberts of Pensacola, Fla., was fourth with 1,077.24 points.
Ramirez pressured Pichler on his third dive, an inward 3 1/2 somersault tuck that earned a 10.0 from one judge and 9.5s from the others. That drew Ramirez within 1.1 points of second-place Pichler, who went next, but only came up with marks of 7.0 to 7.5.
Ramirez could have overtaken Pichler on his fourth dive, with a 3.5 difficulty degree, but he had no marks better than 6.0.
Pichler responded, earning marks ranging from 8.0 to 9.0 on his dive to take a double-digit lead over Ramirez that he never surrendered.
''Rio was smoking dives and there were people diving really well,'' Pichler said. ''I had no idea how close it was, but I like it that way. That's what killed me the other day.''
By finishing third, Ramirez failed to make the Sydney Olympics, thus ending the political red tape he had faced. He would've needed a waiver from his native Cuba to dive for his new country since Ramirez hasn't been a U.S. citizen for three years.
Still to be decided are the synchronized pairings.
Lerew has until 48 hours before the start of the event to pair up divers from among the seven who qualified in individual events. The Americans will compete in three of the four synchro events, having failed to qualify a women's 3-meter team.
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