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home : sports : sports
March 22, 2023

3/10/2023 1:07:00 PM
Nord ascends to the top, winning long awaited diving state championship

Jimmy Nord has been an elite diver in Minnesota for over a half decade.

He made his state diving meet debut in March of 2018 as a fresh faced seventh grader — the only one in the field at the time —and steadily climbed the hill, culminating in his first state championship at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota on Saturday, March 4.

On that early March day in 2018, Nord finished 19th in the state meet. The next year, as an eighth grader, he came in 17th. As a freshman, he really vaulted up, finishing in fourth place, while teammate Storm Opdahl won the first of his three straight state diving titles. In his 10th grade year, Nord finished in second, followed by a third in his junior year, and his crowning achievement was his score of 442 in this year’s meet, almost 20 points clear of second place finisher Kyler Kavanagh of Alexandria, who himself was 20 points clear of third place finisher Gideon Fish of Orono.

“After having such successful seasons with Storm and Tobie Stiles, and Storm winning state, I was glad to be able to represent Chisago Lakes and earn another state title,” Nord said after the meet. “Throughout the season, I really focused on just being the best version of myself and improving every practice and giving it my all.”

“Jimmy had a fantastic season. It was really exciting to watch his success this year. For the past five years I have watched how dedicated he is and how hard he works. That work paid off for him this season,” diving coach Bri Klosner said. “The best part about it though is watching who he is as a person and how he interacts with the other competitors. He is very humble, encouraging, and kind to everyone on the pool deck. I am very proud of his success this year but even prouder of the example he set on the pool deck.”

Klosner continued, saying, “I don’t think he approached this season much differently than past seasons. He just takes it one dive at a time. He has the ability to mentally move on after he’s completed a dive and that is a huge advantage in this sport. We set some really huge goals this season and he was able to crush them. That was really the driving force for him this year. He wanted the six dive school record and to win the state meet. He did both by competing against himself everyday to keep improving.”

The state title is the dénouement of an unbelievable and unprecedented run for Chisago Lakes’ boys diving that included four straight state titles and 10 podium finishes between Nord, Opdahl and Tobie Stiles.

Klosner, who has been the diving coach during this amazing run, also called it a career after the meet, saying she’s excited to be a “just a cheerleader next year.”

“It’s been a pleasure and privilege to coach the guys that I’ve had over the past five years. Each one has brought something unique and awesome to the team. I’ve had such hard working athletes who are just overall great kids. It’s been really special to be a part of that and to see them have continued success in college. The awards and accolades that they’ve won have been wonderful and were deserved but it’s about so much more than that. I hope they left the program having learned more than just how to dive well. I know I have taken so much more away from the experience. The community, program, and parents also made a huge difference in the experience. It’s not one I will never forget and feel privileged to have been a part of.

The Wildcat swimming team may not have claimed any hardware like Nord, but they had seven competitors at the meet between two relay teams and an individual event and they all fared well.

The 200 yard medley relay team led off the meet and finished in 20th place in the event, failing to move on to the consolation finals, but still having a great time. The foursome included Tanner Betts on the backstroke, Jackson Cunningham on the breast stroke, Nick Olson on the butterfly and Evan Sundberg swimming anchor on the freestyle leg.

Junior Vincent Adams was the lone individual qualifier, and he came in 19th place in the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.16 seconds.
To cap off the meet, the 200 freestyle relay team qualified for the second day, finishing in 15th in the prelims by besting their seed time by almost a full second.

The quartet of Adams, Olson, Charlie Sprado and Max Arntson swam in the consolation finals on Saturday, coming in with a time of 1:32.61.

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