Hagen ends season on state springboardPark High School diving coach Mike Amidon only regrets not video taping the workouts. Senior Wolfpack diver Jordan Hagen, who competed at the Minnesota State High School League state swimming and diving tournament last Thursday, had some picture-perfect pikes throughout the season Amidon is sorry he hadn’t captured for future would-be divers.
By: Patrick Johnson, South Washington County Bulletin
Park High School diving coach Mike Amidon only regrets not video taping the workouts.
Senior Wolfpack diver Jordan Hagen, who competed at the Minnesota State High School League state swimming and diving tournament last Thursday, had some picture-perfect pikes throughout the season Amidon is sorry he hadn’t captured for future would-be divers.
“We did these conditioning drills and exercises that were like sit-ups, but you pike up,” Amidon said, explaining how the diver touches his or her toes. “(Hagen) is the best one we’ve ever had at those pike-ups, as we call them. He had such good form and was so strong. He’d put the other kids to shame; they would look at him and couldn’t believe how strong he was.
“I’ll really remember that. He had the best pike-ups than any diver I’ve coached in the last 15 years.”
Hagen’s career as a Wolfpack diver concluded on the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Center springboard last Thursday, as the senior diver earned 27th place in the 32-diver field preliminaries with 112.75 points.
Since Hagen did not make the top-20 in the preliminaries, he did not advance to semifinals. The leader in the prelims, Alex Stern of Chaska, went on to take the title, claiming an untouchable victory with 490.40 points. The runner-up, Casey Palmer, was also from Chaska and had 402 points.
“Just being here; it’s really amazing, saying I dived at the University of Minnesota, at State,” Hagen said. “Not a lot of people can say that. From seventh grade to now, it’s an accomplishment. It’s something I worked for for a long time.”
Hagen’s senior season actually began later than his counterparts. A foot injury suffered during summer baseball led to surgery, causing Hagen to miss the first three weeks of his senior campaign.
When he was able to begin practicing, he felt pretty rusty, Hagen said — but he was no slouch in competition. Hagen instantly began raking in first- and second-place finishes at dual competitions.
“I was surprised, because coming back, not practicing that much and doing that well — that surprised me,” Hagen said. “If I would have started off with everybody else, I could have gotten a lot better personal record. My personal best was 204 and I think if I would
have started off at the beginning of the season, I could have gotten in the 230s.”
Whatever personal record Hagen would have hit, he couldn’t have placed any better in the Section 4AA championships. Hagen won the title — something he said not even he was anticipating.
“I was expecting to get at least just fourth place to make it to state,” Hagen said. “But I hit my last three dives and I got first place. Through the whole meet I was consistent and that’s what helped me.”
The Wolfpack’s sole senior diver came to state alone, representing a staff made up completely of underclassmen — Hagen being the exception.
That was a different makeup than Hagen was accustomed to in the past.
“This year, he was the only senior, and he was working with some eighth- and ninth-graders,” Amidon said. “It was hard for him to dive on his own, so to speak. He practiced with (the underclassmen), but there’s a pretty good age and maturity difference in the divers. The others did a nice job too, but (Hagen) was very focused and serious about it. When he was there he used his time well. He wasn’t one to waste time on things.”
Hagen plans to matriculate to University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the fall. Though Hagen also takes a serious liking to baseball, a collegiate future in diving is not out of the question.
“It was a trip,” Hagen said. “It wasn’t like any other season. Being a senior and everybody cheering you on — all those loud cheers and roars after you come up out of the water and you know you did a good dive — it’s a rush.”
Feb. 28-March 1
Minnesota State High School League state boys swimming and diving championships
University of Minnesota Aquatic Center
1-meter diving results
1, Alex Stern (Chaska) 490.40 points
Park individual results (six dives)
27, Jordan Hagen 112.75