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home : sports : sports
January 23, 2020

11/21/2019 3:23:00 PM
Opdahl continues to impress in first year of diving, finishing 14th
Stipe makes semis before missing out on finals by fraction
Hattie Opdahl
Hattie Opdahl
Claudia Stipe
Claudia Stipe

The erie calm and deep blue waters of the University of Minnesota Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center were interrupted time and time again last week for the Minnesota state diving meet on Thursday, November 21 and Saturday, November 23.

For a couple of Chisago Lakes girls, it was their frist time leaping into that water, and Claudia Stipe and Hattie Opdahl did a pretty dang good job of it.

Opdahl was the first CL diver to take to the board on Thursday, and she did well in prelim dives, scoring a 171.7 and sitting in fifth place.
Stipe also moved on to the semis, scoring 167.40, which put her in eighth place.

The early results were great, but they knew the divers around them were going to be stepping their difficulty scores up considerably in the next rounds.

Stipe, who is a sophomore, had a little tougher time in the semi finals and ended up with 235.2 points, which put her in the tough spot of 17th place. That wasn’t enough to move her on to the finals, which only takes the top 16. She had finished just 1.7 points out of the finals.

Opdahl, who is a freshman in her first year of diving, kept her strong performance up in the semis, adding to her total to get to 251.50, which put her in ninth place, just a hint outside of a potential podium finish.

In the finals on Saturday, Opdahl was passed by a few girls who really upped their difficulty level, and it ended up slotting her into 14th place overall at the meet, missing out on the podium finish she was looking for by 16 points with a total of 334.65.

“It was a great 'first time' at the state meet for both divers.  The venue is large, loud, and the best of the best in the state are at this meet,” Head Coach Ellen Heath said. “Sometimes that can be intimidating and create some nervousness in a first appearance.  Both divers handled that mental part well and their season long physical hard work paid off.”

Heath is excited for the future of the girls, as there is a lot of room to grow as divers, especially for Opdahl who is so new to the art.

A great foundation to build upon for the next few seasons. Four of the girls that finished in front of Opdahl are seniors, so there’s potential for her to move up next year simply by way of attrition.

“They both have a great foundation to build upon for the next few seasons,” Heath noted after the positive meet.

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