Well-timed perfection: Midget swimmer Billings sweeps on senior night
The Dickinson High boys swimming and diving team honored their one senior, Garrett Billings in the middle of its dual against Bismarck Legacy.
Billings, who has been swimming since a young age, has competed for the Midgets for the past three years. In his final home meet of his swimming career, Billings went 4-for-4 in his events on Thursday, Feb. 8 at the West River Community Center.
"I haven't done that in a while," Billings said. "It feels good that I'm progressing and getting better for the team."
Billings narrowly earned first in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, defeating Austin Schlecht by 0.16 seconds in the latter. In the 50 free, he beat Saber Carter Scott by a half second with the final reach.
"I knew the times going in (to the 50 free) were pretty close," Billings said. "When I looked over to my left I saw that he was gaining on me so I knew I had to kick it up a gear and go a lot harder."
The Midget also aided in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay.
The relays usually feature sophomore swimmer Steven Bratten, but he was absent at the dual.
In his place, was eighth grader Mason Beck.
"Mason Beck, he swam the backstroke leg of the medley relay and the typical leg Steven would have swam in the freestyle relay as well and stepped up," Dickinson head coach Mike Sullivan said. "Obviously, big shoes to fill but he swam well today against the competition."
Junior Isaac Ellerkamp swam on both the winning relays, won the 10 breaststroke and took second in the 200-yard individual medley.
"He had a strong 200 IM," Sullivan said. "The first three legs were real tough. He's got to work a little more with sprinting at the end."
For the Sabers, sophomore Shawn Holweger nearly swept his events. He placed first in the 100 butterfly and 200-yard individual medley, as well as the 400-yard freestyle relay. However, he and his teammates earned second in 200 medley relay, bested by less than two seconds.
Preparing for the format of the state meet, divers performed 11 dives and Dickinson's Dawson Wilson came out on top with a score of 341.05. Behind him, Beck earned second with 284.95 points and Tug Johnson of Bismarck Legacy took third with 247.65 points.
"I think Dawson and Mason both did very well," Sullivan said. "Mason was really struggling this week with doing his reverses, especially the last one. He was a little elated so that was good to see."
Midget freshman Taven Wilson was also a part of the winning relay teams. Additionally, he placed second in the 200-yard freestyle and third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.08 seconds.
"Other swims that stick out, (eighth grader) Jackson Metcalf cut two seconds in the 100 breaststroke, ended up in third place. That's a stand out for him," Sullivan said. "(Eighth grader) Detric Coleman ended up cutting two seconds in his 100 backstroke, so another solid cut for a younger swimmer. That's fun to see with those younger swimmers."
Team scores: 1, Bismarck Legacy 104. 2, Dickinson High 75.
200 medley relay: 1, Dickinson A (Mason Beck, Isaac Ellerkamp, Taven Wilson, Garrett Billings), 1:58.29. 2, Legacy A (Derek Freborg, Tucker Glenn, Shawn Holweger, Jayden Ahmann), 2:00.67. 5, Dickinson B (Detric Coleman, Jackson Metcalf, Trent Irwin, Jesse Bjerken), 2:30.04.
50 freestyle: 1, Billings, D, 24.98. 2, Carter Scott, L, 25.48. 3, Wilson, D, 26.08. 9, Metcalf, D, 31.39. 13, Bjerken, D, 38.49.
100 backstroke: 1, Freborg, L, 1:06.23. 3, Coleman, D, 1:25.00. 4, Casey Tuhy, D, 127.85.
100 breaststroke: 1, Ellerkamp, D, 1:08.31. 2, Glenn, L, 1:09.32. 3, Metcalf, D, 1:23.29. 5, Aiden Healy, D, 1:24.27.
100 butterfly: 1, Holweger, L, 1:00.02. 4, Irwin, D, 1:25.05.
100 freestyle: 1, Billings, D, 55.51. 2, Austin Schlecht, L, 55.67. 4, Dawson Wilson, D, 1:03.83. 6, Bjerken, D, 1:39.08.
200 freestyle: 1,Schlecht, L, 2:02.96. 2, T. Wilson, D, 2:10.58. 4, Healy, D, 2:28.21.
200 individual medley: 1, Holweger, L, 2:13.90. 2, Ellerkamp, D, 2:17.71. 5, Tuhy, D, 2:59.56. 6, Coleman, D, 3:20.78.
500 freestyle: 1, Brandon Harmon, L, 6:18.75. 2, Grant Meidinger, L, 6:40.08.
200 freestyle relay: 1, Dickinson A (Billings, Ellerkamp, T. Wilson, Beck), 1:41.65. 2, Legacy A (Scott, Brandon Seibel, Glenn, Schlecht), 1:48.81. 3, Dickinson B (Healy, Tuhy, Coleman, D. Wilson), 1:57.47.
400 freestyle relay: 1, Legacy A (Holweger, Schlecht, Freborg, Scott), 3:55.59. 3, Dickinson A (Tuhy, Irwin, Metcalf, D. Wilson), 4:31.14.
1-meter diving: 1, D. Wilson, D, 341.05. 2, Beck, D, 284.95. 3, Tug Johnson, L, 247.65.