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State meet gives Coyotes another shot at Century

Alexa Martel1 / 2
Ketti Ringwall2 / 2

The Williston Coyotes didn't come away with another West Region girls swimming and diving title, but their sights remain high heading into this weekend.

The Coyotes had previously won back-to-back West Region titles, but placing second by six points to Bismarck Century is all the motivation they'll need Friday and Saturday at the North Dakota state meet in Grand Forks.

"It's a pretty big motivator," said Kristi Roller, who coaches Dickinson's side of the co-op. "We wanted to beat Century, but it's going to be even tougher at state. We are going to have to go out and give it our all."

Winning the West Region meet would have given Williston a little extra motivation, but for Ketti Ringwall, a sophomore at Dickinson Trinity, second place is not too disappointing.

"Century is a really tough team to beat," she said. "It would have been great to win again, but we just came up a little short."

A state championship is in the back of Dickinson High senior Alexa Martel's mind and she might not be that far off.

"They say the team to beat is Century and we only lost to them by six points that's really not that much," she said.

The Coyotes started tapering down their yardage last week and Ringwall saw the direct effects.

"Jumping in without all the drag from practices feels quite different," she said. "Going into state we are going to be more tapered and more ready, we should go even faster."

The all-West Region selection placed second in the 200-yard freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle. Roller is looking forward to having Ringwall for two more seasons.

"It's exciting because she's only a sophomore," Roller said. "It gives me a little more time to work with her. She's already great, but by the time she's a senior it should be really cool."

Roller, who is in her first season as the Dickinson side coach, was excited about seeing hard work paying off when swimmers began cutting time in the West Region meet.

"All the Dickinson girls cut times, which they should be at this point in their taper," Roller said. "I'm expecting them to cut even more time."

Though Roller swam for Dickinson when she was in high school, she relishes the opportunity to be a coach.

"Swimming is just something that I love, but I love coaching too," Roller said. "The best part is seeing your girls succeed. That's more exciting for me, even if I was swimming."

Martel doesn't think nerves are going to play a factor in the outcome of the state meet.

"We're pretty excited," she said. "I don't think any of us are nervous. We are really interested to see how all of our hard work is going to pay off."