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Melgaard and George dive their way to state meet

Since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, Detroit Lakes junior Jon Melgaard was diving for one thing and one thing only -- the state meet.

Melgaard won almost every meet, and set a couple of records in the process.

But it's this weekend's Class 1A state meet for which he has been preparing since the start.

"The end of the road is what drove me," Melgaard said of the season. "It all leads up to the state meet."

Melgaard didn't have a perfect Section 3-1A meet, but still won it handily with a score of 351.85.

But there is a change in Melgaard's state routine -- he is heading into his third -- as junior teammate Justin George will be making the trip, as well.

George made a furious comeback in his last three dives, pulling himself out of ninth place to finish fourth with a score of 270 and qualify for his first diving state meet.

"After my first five dives, I wasn't sitting in the position I wanted to," George said. "After my eighth dive, I was in ninth place and I knew I had to definitely pick it up. "

That's exactly what he did, as he hit on his three most difficult dives and rose up the charts.

"I nailed all three of them," George added.

DL head diving coach Bobbi Jo Koons said they set George's list by having his final three dives as his most difficult ones.

"He hit his hardest dives at the right exact time," Koons added.

For Melgaard, state was almost a cinch.

The state diving meet will be held inside the University of Minnesota's Aquatics Center Thursday and Saturday at noon.

That's the time Melgaard wants to shine.

"I would like to place better than my ninth place finish last year," Melgaard said. "I also would like to break 450 (11-dive set), which is realistic because my personal-best is 433."

This year, Melgaard enters the state as an elder and veteran, not the wide-eyed young diver.

That alone should be an advantage for the Laker junior.

"I won't be intimidated down there," Melgaard added. "I know the boards and know the routine of being down at state."

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.