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Swimmers excited for lone home meet

The Dickinson swimmers, who co-op with the Williston swimming and diving team, are inching closer to the lone home meet of the season.

The Coyotes have seven swimmers from Dickinson who are ready and excited to host an invitational starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at the West River Community Center.

"It's the only home meet we get in the high school season, so it's really important for us Dickinson girls," Dickinson Trinity junior Ketti Ringwall said. "We want to do really well, because people are able to come and support us."

"It helps a lot to have people support us, even if we aren't doing well," Dickinson high freshman Leah Grove added with a smile.

Williston is currently in its peak week, where the swimmers are doing about 9,000 yards per day. Though Grove might just be a freshman, she knows the increased time in the pool is going to reflect the amount of yards the team is accomplishing each day.

"It's really good to know that we are adding time," Grove said. "That's what we should be doing at this time. If you are adding, you should be thinking you are going to do pretty well at WDA and state."

Thomas Wheeling, Williston's head coach, said the swimmers are focused on placing right now rather than attaining a certain time. He makes sure it's a constant reminder at practice.

"Each meet is important, but the meets during the middle of the season, we are more focused on places rather than times," he said. "I tell them if they are within a few seconds what their time is, they are doing just fine. All this training is geared toward our top performance at the end of the year at state."

Ringwall said it's hard to manage the frustration when a certain time isn't reached.

"It's definitely hard going to a meet and the whole week in practice you have a time set," she said. "Then after the meet, you add time or don't get the time you want to get is really tough. Swimming is one of those sports where you are either on or way off."

The four teams scheduled to be at the invitational are Minot, Mandan, Bismarck High and Williston. At the beginning of the season, the Coyotes believed to be in contention of a West Region title and Grove said the team is performing well up to this point.

"We all have been working really hard," she said. "We're trying to get a lot better at our events. We're working on drills and making sure things are perfect."

Since the team is putting in so much pool time before beginning the true taper off in the final month and a half of the season, Wheeling is letting the swimmers pick their own events this weekend.

"This weekend will give us a chance to swim some different events," Wheeling said. "It's just a nice change of pace for the girls when they are tired. It's nice mental break for some of them to try different events and have a little more fun with it."