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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANTHONY REYES @NWATONYR Kyle Nichols of Bentonville High performs his final dive Friday during the Arkansas High School Swim and Dive Championships at the Bentonville Community Center in Bentonville.

BENTONVILLE -- Kyle Nichols could hear all the cheers that Bentonville teammate Martin Keown received for each dive he did Friday, and it only made him want do a little more.

The senior did enough to win the Class 6A/7A boys diving competition during the Arkansas High School Swim and Dive Championships in the Bentonville Community Center. Nichols finished with 386.90 points, while Keown gave Bentonville a one-two finish with 344.40 points.

At a glance

Arkansas High School Swim and Dive Championships

at Bentonville Community Center

Friday’s results

1-Meter Diving

Class 6A/7A Boys 1. Kyle Nichols, Bentonville High, 386.90; 2. Martin Keown, Bentonville, 344.40; 3. Will Adams, Fayetteville, 329.05; 4. Cavion Crosby, Bryant, 309.80; 5. Blake Hopkins, Conway, 303.80; 6. Landon McClung, Rogers High, 303.80.

Class 6A/7A Girls 1. Lindsey Rissinger, Fayetteville, 389.95; 2. Anna Kay Harris, Conway, 341.75; 3. Hailey Rissinger, Fayetteville, 341.65; 4. Caitlin Hodge, Bentonville High, 315.35; 5. Addison Trunick, Springdale High, 311.80; 6. Taylor Hiroyasu, Bentonville High, 309.50

Class 1A/5A Boys 1. Patrik Rollefson, Pulaski Academy, 362.25; 2. Taylor Savage, Arkadelphia, 286.20.

Class 1A/5A Girls 1. Ansley Anders, Shiloh Christian, 369.75; 2. Josie Matalone, Haas Hall Academy, 284.30.

Photo by Anthony Reyes
Lindsey Rissinger of Fayetteville performs a dive Friday during the Arkansas High School Swim and Dive Championships at the Bentonville Community Center.

"I'm excited and happy," Nichols said of winning his first state. "It makes me feel good that a couple of months of hard work is really paid off."

Nichols' point total was more than double than he finished with last year, when he took 10th place with 166.15 points. He was one of the favorites to win, but his stiffest competition was expected to be Fayetteville's Will Allen, who was last year's state runnerup.

Instead, it came from Keown, who had those in attendance yelling and clapping the loudest with his dives. Fortunately for Nichols, he was able to follow up Keown with some quality dives to close out each round, and he scored 42 or more points on three straight dives.

"Those cheers just made me want to strive for better scores," Nichols said of Keown. "But I was very proud of my teammate. He's earned it.

"He's pushed me a lot this year. We give and take tips and tricks to make each other better, but overall we've been a good duo together."

Allen took third with 329.05 points, while Bryant's Cavion Crosby and Conway's Blake Hopkins rounded out the top five with 309.80 and 303.80, respectively.

In the girls 6A/7A division, Lindsey Rissinger finished her diving career with a third consecutive state championship. The Fayetteville senior accumulated 389.85 points to 341.15 points for second-place finisher Anna Kay Harris of Conway.

Rissinger said after the competition that she would not pursue a diving career in college.

"It's kind of bittersweet," she said. "It's sort of emotional, but a good emotional. I couldn't ask for much more than another state title."

Rissinger said the competition, which included her younger sister Hailey, pushed her a little more than she faced last year, but she was up to the challenge. Her second dive recorded 46.20 points, and she consistently surpassed the 30-point mark in her remaining dives.

"It was awesome," Rissinger said. "I've had a lot of practice for this. I've been practicing three and four times a week for five years now. I just tried to keep things the same and kept working and improving on my bad dives."

Hailey Rissinger was a close third behind Harris with 341.65 points, while Bentonville's Caitlin Hodge finished fourth with 315.35. Springdale High's Addison Trunick closed out the top five with 311.80.

There were only four divers who competed in the Class 1A/5A competition. Shiloh Christian's Ansley Anders took the girls title, defeating Haas Hall Academy's Josie Matalone by a 369.75-284.30 margin, while Pulaski Academy's Patrik Rollefson defeated Arkadelphia's Taylor Savage by a 362.25-286.20 margin.

The state championships continue today with the swimming events. The Class 1A/5A competition will begin at 8:30 a.m., while the Class 6A/7A swimmers take to the pool at 4 p.m.

Sports on 02/25/2017

Print Headline: Nichols, Rissinger claim state diving crowns

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