INDIANAPOLIS | Josh Arndt's final dive might have had a degree of difficulty of 3.1, but the LaPorte junior didn't have any nerves in the IHSAA diving finals.
"I looked at the board and saw I needed just 10 points to keep the lead," Arndt said. "That helped me relax."
Arndt had no issues with his inward 2 1/2 somersault and captured the school's first state diving crown with 543.8 points at the IU Natatorium on Saturday.
This was Arndt's first state appearance, and he missed the regional cut his first two prep seasons.
"I just felt like I really needed to step up and do it," Arndt said. "I didn't really know what to expect when I came here, and that really helped me. If I would've know what was going on, I would have been a lot more nervous.
Arndt, who entered meet as the top seed, took the lead in the fifth round with his forward 2 1/2 somersault pike -- scoring 65 points -- and he never looked back.
"I felt confident after that," Arndt said. "I just had to keep going."
The ring is the thing: Valparaiso junior diver Muyenda Burnett hoped for a top-eight finish, then he heard the top-two spots earned a ring.
"I wanted that ring," Burnett said, "so I had to go get it."
Burnett finished second with 500.6, besting his personal best by 70 points.
Burnett was third at the LaPorte Sectional and seventh earlier in the week at the Mishawaka Regional.
"I really realized that it wasn't just about winning," he said. "My friends and family kept believing in me when I didn't, and that really helped."
Also, Portage's Alex Rosales was 15th (413.2), and Valparaiso's Zach Schwartz 18th (277.95).
Lyon wins mental attitude award: Zionsville's Peter Lyon won the Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award. Lyon was second in the 100 fly and fourth in the 100 back.