Caiden Lake Wins Diving State Championship

Posted on February 26, 2019 in Boy's Swimming, Winter Sports

Lake and Hart

Senior State Champion Caiden Lake with dive coach Bobby Hart

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com
INDIANAPOLIS — Caiden Lake estimates he put in thousands of dives after the 2018 state championship diving meet leading into the 2019 season.

All Lake’s work, all his preparation on and off the diving boards paid a fruitful dividend during the 2019 state finals in the IUPUI Natatorium on Saturday.

Through eight dives in the preliminary and semifinal rounds, Lake amassed 351.85 points and stood in third place behind Devin Ramsey (365.10) of Seymour and Nathan Barr (356.95) from Hamilton Southeastern, but well within striking distance.

Lake ripped his final three dives for 174 points to overcome the deficit and win the state championship with a school-record setting total of 525.85 to nip Ramsey (522.85) by just three points. Barr finished a distant third with 488.40.

“The first eight dives I was terrified pretty much the whole time. i was just trying to think positive thoughts over and over and over,” Lake said. “Once we hit my reverse twister and I saw (coach) Bobby’s (Hart) reaction, we got pretty excited those last three dives. I don’t think Ive ever yelled that much at a diving competition.”

Lake’s highest scoring dive through the first eight netted him 58.9 points on his second dive. Four of his first six dives were all over 50 and he would never drop lower than third place all day.

But the finals is where it all came together, his first dive scored 58.5 and significantly closed the gap on Ramsey.

His 10th dive was the game-changer, a dive Lake had only attempted once before in competition this season.

Lake had only been working on the reverse two-and-a-half dive this week only since Wednesday, but he executed in the biggest moment better than he’d ever done before. When the score of 63 popped up from the judges it shot him to the top of the leaderboard.

Lake then closed his list with a front three-and-half, 52.5 points, and a state championship medal draped proudly around his neck.

“I’m still in shock, it hasn’t really settled in yet. I’m just glad to make Bobby proud,” Lake said. “I told him in July before practice started – I walked up to him slammed my hand on the score table and told him I’m going to be your first state champion and he said alright, go stretch.”

With Lakes work ethic, Hart said his only message prior to starting the final round was brief and simple.

“Leave it all on the board. … and live in the moment,” Hart said.

Ramsey moved back to the top after his final dive, and there was anxious few seconds before Lake’s final score was posted.

“I heard Bobby crying in my ear let me look at the score, let me look at the score, don’t look don’t look don’t look,” Lake said. “It was awesome.”

When the final score popped up, Lake was indeed a state champion.

“It’s the most amazing feeling i’ve ever had in sports,” Hart said of coaching Lake to a state title. “He’s so confident in what he’s had going on for him and this started three or four months ago, he said he was going to win state and he kept saying.

“Even when he was down going into the finals, he kept saying, ‘I’m going to win,’”

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