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Fischer moves on to state

Perham/NYM's Dena Fischer gets ready to take off on the diving board during a meet in Detroit Lakes. Fischer earned a trip to the Class A Championships with a fourth place finish in Grand Rapids. Robert Williams/Forum News Service

Perham/New York Mills sophomore diver, Dena Fischer,  made history when she advanced to the Class A State Championships on Nov. 11 in Grand Rapids, Minn. Fischer became the second diver in program history to advance to the state meet when she earned a fourth place finish in Grand Rapids.

“It feels really good,” Fischer said. “A lot of hard work went into it.”

Fischer finished fourth overall with a score of 359.80. Fischer already holds the school record and continues to raise the bar for the divers in the Yellowjacket swimming program.

She started the preliminaries, finishing with a score of 159.95 points. She was tied with Jackson Hegg for fourth place after the preliminary round.

Fischer was able to break the tie in the second round. She had a score of 256.45, holding a 9.25 point lead on Grand Rapids’ Addie Albrecht for the final qualifying spot in fourth place.

Fischer not only held the lead but grew the lead in the final round. Fischer finished the championships with a score of 359.80, capturing the fourth and final qualifying spot for the Class A Diving Championships.

“At first, it was kind of sketchy,” Fischer said. “I had one rough dive and then I pulled it back together and now we are going to state. I just tried to keep everything clean, try my best and take it one dive at a time.”

Fischer didn’t realize at first she had qualified until her mother and diving coach, Amanda, approached her with a hug and started crying. Fischer said the year was stressful, working on a lot of the same dives, while working on new things and improving.

“I’m grateful for it and it’s really rewarding,” Fischer said. “I hope to make it to finals, but that’s not my main goal. My main goal was to make it to state. Whatever happens, happens.”

Fischer holds the Perham/NYM school record for 11 dives with a score of 372.5 points. She broke that mark by more than 20 points during the Bemidji Invitational, earlier in the season.

“As a diver, she’s a perfectionist who puts in the time and hard work to get as close to perfect as she can,” Perham/NYM swimming head coach Jensen Maiden said. “She is my only diver who also swims, As a swimmer, she pushes herself as hard as she can with minimal practice she’s able to get in.”

Her determination showed when she hit in the semifinals and the finals, separating herself from Hegg and Albrecht for the final spot at state. Detroit Lakes’ Emma Disse was the overall winner, finishing with a score 384.30.

Fischer will be competing in the Class A Diving preliminaries on Thursday, Nov. 16, beginning at 12 noon. The final 16 divers from the preliminaries advance and will dive on Saturday, Nov. 18 during the championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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