By: Jared Hines
When Dakotah Parker stood on the podium to receive his second-place medal in the Class A Diving Championships, there was a familiar face to his left.
There stood Storm Opdahl, a sophomore from Chisago Lakes, getting his championship medal. The two have battled it out all year, competing in the same conference, the same section, and the same state tournament.
“We talk, but we aren’t really friends,” Parker said on Saturday afternoon about Opdahl and the other Wildcat divers from Chisago Lakes. “I would say we are more like acquaintances but they are really nice.”
Today, Opdahl and Parker represent the top-2 divers in Class A.
Parker headed into Saturday’s championship round with a score of 308.45. Ahead of him sat Garrett Kaiser of Simley, Inner Grove Heights and Opdahl. Parker knew he would have to put together three good dives to jump into the top-2.
He didn’t disappoint.
The three dives by the Monticello sophomore earned him 140.05 points, enough to jump him in front of Kaiser by just 1.1 points. Opdahl finished with a total score of 470.15 while Parker had 448.50 and Kaiser had 447.40.
“To not get first place is a bummer but that doesn’t take away from the incredible season that he has had,” Magic diving coach John Sampson said. “You can’t ask for anything better. Dakotah has always accomplished everything he’s been asked to do.”
Parker’s regular-season included breaking the 6-dive and 11-dive record for the Magic. Parker has two years left ahead of him and still would like to accomplish breaking the pool record at Monticello Middle School which has held for many years. He also commented about wanted to perfect current dives and attempt and move harder dives into his rotation.
The friendly rivalry with the Chisago Lakes won’t be going anytime soon. Three Wildcat divers placed in the top-7 today with two of them being sophomore and one of them being freshmen. The conference and section opponents push each other to be better each time they compete, leaving Section 3A’s diving competition in good hands for years to come.
“I hope he gets at least one,” Sampson said about Parker and his chances of returning in his junior and senior year. “It would be great if he won next year and then they (Opdahl and Parker) battle it out as seniors. That would be a Cinderella story to see that happen.”
Congrats to Dakotah Parker on an incredible sophomore season for the Magic!