Diving Deep: HP Senior Follows in His Family’s Flipping Footsteps

Dash Wolford, fifth of five siblings to compete for Blue Wave, eyes state meet return

As the only diver on the Highland Park roster, Dash Wolford must often take part in meets by himself. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s lacking competition.

Wolford only has to look over his shoulder from the 1-meter springboard at the HP Natatorium to see the school scoring record set by his brother, Dax, in 2004.

Dash is the youngest of five siblings, all of which have been divers for the Blue Wave. And although he’s been very successful — making it to the state meet twice — he still doesn’t hold family bragging rights.

“We had a lot of conversations about how much work that’s going to take,” said HP head coach Jesse Cole. “He’s embraced that as he’s gotten older and is always willing to add new dives.”

“I’m a little bit of a daredevil and an adrenaline junkie. You have to have a little crazy in you to do diving.”

Dash Wolford

As part of an aquatic family, Dash first joined the youth swimming club at SMU when he was 5, even though the minimum age was 6. Just like his siblings, he eventually gravitated to diving.

“I’m a little bit of a daredevil and an adrenaline junkie,” Wolford said. “You have to have a little crazy in you to do diving.”

Although diving competitions are typically held separately from swimming meets because the pool must be reconfigured, the event counts toward the team score.

As a sophomore, he placed 14th at the Class 5A state meet, contributing to a third-place finish for the Blue Wave in the boys team standings. Last year, he improved to 10th place, and he hopes to crack the top six if he qualifies for this year’s state competition, slated for Feb. 26-27 in San Antonio.

Still, while he’s a team captain for his senior season, Wolford typically must motivate himself to dive in relative anonymity. Many of the larger meets that attract more divers have been cancelled this season for precautionary reasons stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some people think diving doesn’t even matter that much,” he said. “It’s kind of annoying, but I’m only one person.”

During the last few meets of his high school career, he hopes to end the family’s diving legacy on a high note.

“Because he’s so experienced now, he takes feedback really well,” Cole said. “He has a lot of confidence in himself. He understands what it takes to be a diver.”

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