Danny pops the question at Williams Arena
WHAT ELSE WOULD SHE SAY? — Danny Wagner gets on bended knee for his marriage proposal to Kristina Cole Monday, Feb. 15 during the University of Minnesota women’s basketball game at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. (Photo by Pam Agrimson)
By JIM LUTGENS
There was never really any mystery about whether Danny Wagner would finally ask Kristina Cole to be his bride.
The question was when, where, and how.
“I was expecting something kind of secluded,” said Kristina.
“I had an opportunity to go big,” explained Danny.
So, big it was.
On bended knee, Danny popped the question before thousands of spectators during the Gopher women’s basketball game against Iowa at Williams Arena in Minneapolis Monday, Feb. 15.
She said yes, as the overhead scoreboard proclaimed.
It came as no surprise for the couple that graduated from NRHEG High School, Danny in 2010 and Kristina in 2011. Both were active in athletics and Danny is, of course, the big brother of Gopher basketball standout Carlie Wagner, which is why they were at Williams Arena in the first place.
“About three months ago, I started thinking I might do it at Williams Arena,” said Danny, who admitted he started considering engagement a couple years ago. “I was trying to think of something big, and my mom kind of thought of it too.”
It happened between the third and fourth quarter. With Taylor Swift’s “Love Song” playing on the public address system, Danny got down on one knee and presented Kristina a diamond.
“I had no idea it was coming,” she said. “I just kind of stared at him. I didn’t say anything. I thought he was going to grab me and get a picture of us with (Gophers mascot) Goldie. Then I saw the TV cameras around.”
Cheers ensued as Danny knelt down, and there was an even bigger celebration when Kristina said yes.
“They cheered just about as loud as when Rachel (Banham) hit that last-second shot (to win the game),” said Danny. “It just erupted.”
What exactly did Danny say when he asked Kristina to marry him?
“I don’t even remember,” he said. “It’s all kind of a big blur.”
Carlie, in the midst of a nip-and-tuck game with arch-rival Iowa, was trying not to get caught catching a glimpse of the festivities on the big screen.
“She was very excited about it,” said Danny. “Right after the game, she made eye contact with us and came and gave both of us a big hug. It was a cool moment.”
Danny and Kristina, who have been dating for six years on March 6, are looking at getting married sometime in the summer or fall of 2017. Danny is employed by Owatonna Parks and Recreation and Kristina is a registered nurse at St. Mary’s in Rochester.
Both are relieved to get the engagement phase out of the way, knowing they’ll have a great story to someday share with their children and grandchildren.
“It was a stressful night, that’s for sure,” said Danny. “I had an opportunity to go big, so I did. How many people can say they proposed in front of 6,000 people?”