State swimming & diving: Monaghan wins state dive title
A couple of missing teeth didn't keep Daniel Monaghan from flashing a winning smile at the top of the podium at Saturday's Class 2A state meet.
The Rosemount junior lost two teeth and scraped his lip and nose last week when he hit the diving board during a routine dive in his first practice after winning the Section 3AA title. He started Friday's state prelims with a couple of dives he described as "shaky," but still finished the prelims in first place and maintained his spot atop the field of 16 divers Saturday to become the Irish's first state diving champion.
"I didn't have any fear about it. It was just a simple dive I messed up on, so I didn't think about it too much," Monaghan said. "I think the shaky start was just because I'm always a little nervous at state. Once I got into a groove it was smooth from there."
Monaghan, who just missed qualifying for state as a sophomore, took the lead after the prelims and increased it to nearly 30 points by the semifinals with a score of 295.60. He went into his 11th and final dive needing just three points to win. His final dive netted 43 points, giving him a winning total of 413.10.
"I knew I had to do my last two dives well to keep the lead. I had it in my head that I was going to win and going into my last dive I knew I was going to win," he said. "It was great. It felt so good to have all my work pay off. My goal was to win."
Monaghan's gold-medal performance led the Irish to a seventh-place team finish. They scored 113 points, seven off the pace of sixth-place East Ridge. Eden Prairie pulled away for the team championship with 344 points.
"Overall the swimmers and divers performed great at the state meet and I was very pleased with seventh overall," Rosemount coach Tami Carlson said. "It was great to see the seniors step up and work hard throughout the season in preparation for the state meet. We were not expecting this great of a season after losing nine varsity seniors last year. The seniors this year proved us wrong and stepped up and did a great job. I am very proud of them."
Senior Sheldon Hatlen capped off his career with place-winning performances in all four of his races at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. He placed third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.18 seconds, sixth in the 100 freestyle in 46.96 and anchored the Irish in a pair of relay finals.
Hatlen joined Andrew Urness, Kyle Bodine and Sam Kendall for a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay and the same foursome came back to score sixth in the 400 freestyle relay. The 200 freestyle earned All-American consideration with a time of 1:25.93.
Urness added an 11th-place finish in the 200 freestyle and a 19th-place finish in the 100 butterfly.
Freshman Noah Peterson placed 29th in the 500 freestyle.