Prior to a home dual against Jamestown on Friday, Jan. 4, Dickinson High's Mason Beck's previous best time in the 100-yard freestyle this season was 57.47 seconds, more than a second slower than the state-qualifying standard.
Looking to make the best of another crack at the event, the freshman lined up in lane No. 4 and remembered the simple, yet effective words of his head coach, McKenzie Steckler.
"On the first 50 (yards), McKenzie told me to go as fast as I can, like I was swimming the 50 freestyle," Beck said. "And then for the second 50, it was just to go as fast as I can and give everything that I have."
Ripping through the first 50 yards in 26.66, Beck took Steckler's advice to heart, shaving nearly two seconds off of his old mark with a time of 55.53, which was good enough for first in the event and cleared the state-qualifying standard by 0.7 seconds.
"I was super, super happy," Beck said. "I was trying for it during the last couple of meets and I was really happy that I got it during this meet, especially a home meet."
On a night where many of the Midgets cut times, Beck's performance was one of five Midgets victories of the evening as Jamestown won the dual 106-79 from the West River Community Center.
"They all had a really good night," Steckler said. "Detric Coleman dropped 30 seconds in the 500 free and that was really exciting. Taven (Wilson) dropped 10 seconds in the 500 and Mason qualified for state in the 100 free, dropping two seconds in that. Becoming a swimmer after being a diver these past couple of years, it's really good to see him excelling. ... That's great for the team too, to see that they are very versatile, that's a great thing to have."
Beck was second in the 50 freestyle, finishing just a hair behind Jamestown senior Andy Pfeiffer. He also joined fellow freshman Dawson Wilson and team co-captains sophomore Taven Wilson and senior Isaac Ellerkamp for the 400-yard freestyle relay, winning the event with a time of 3:52.82. In the dual's first swimming event, the foursome swam the 200 medley relay in 1:52.69, finishing second.
"They did very well, I'm extremely proud of them," Steckler remarked on her team's showing. "We had a lot of time drops and season bests in the relays for the (200) medley and 400 freestyle. I am fairly pleased with how everything went."
Coleman, one of nine freshman on the DHS roster, took home fourth the 500 freestyle after swimming the event in 6:46.50. Taven Wilson was two spots ahead after clocking in with a time of 5:49.07. Jamestown senior Cole Ramusson won the event, picking up one of the Blue Jays' seven victories on the night.
"It was good to come back during the holiday. It's tough having practice over break, so we were a little rusty today, but it was really good to get some of that stuff out and get ready to go into the mid-part of our season," Jamestown head coach Ben Smith said. "I think our team effort was really good. We started the meet really strong, and the meet ran a really fast too, so I think we got a little gassed out at the end, but I'm really proud of our team effort."
Dawson Wilson was victorious in the night's first event, winning the 1-meter dive with a score of 190.10 points. Taven Wilson followed suit midway through the dual, winning the 100 backstroke with a season-low time of 1:07.89. Meanwhile, Ellerkamp cut into his mark in the 100 breaststroke by nearly 0.7 seconds, placing first with a state-qualifying time of 1:09.53.
At the end of the meet, Steckler echoed Smith's sentiments and is ready for her team to attack the second half of the season after a positive effort at home.
"Coming off the holiday and the times for practice being different and people being on vacation with their families, I just hope that we get more into the swing of things, like we did in the beginning of the season," Steckler said. "We'll continue to work hard, continue to have those time drops and continue to have a fun and exciting season."
Jamestown 106, Dickinson High 79
50 freestyle: 1, Andy Pfeiffer, J, 24.49. 2, Mason Beck, D, 24.96. 3, Garret Wright, J, 25.55. 4, Chandlar Rott, J, 26.63. 5, Aiden Rothstein, D, 35.33.
100 backstroke: 1, T. Wilson, D, 1:07.89. 2, Kaden Schmidt, J, 1:21.81. 3, Brayden Schmeichel, J, 1:30.22. 4, Connor Devero, D, 1:32.19. 5, Hunter Peterson, D, 1:49.48.
100 breaststroke: 1, Isaac Ellerkamp, D, 1:09.53. 2, Luca Flann, J, 1:13.11. 3, Wright, J, 1:16.00. 4, Aiden Healy, D, 1:27.64. 5, Braden Hart, J, 1:28.23. 6, Deniz Kilic, D, 1:34.48.
100 butterfly: 1, Noah Haglund, J, 1:03.41. 2, Dawson Wilson, D, 1:06.71. 3, Alex Goodrie, J, 1:10.83. 4, Pfeiffer, J, 1:12.31. 5, Healy, D, 1:12.59. 6, Trent Irwin, D, 1:15.71.
100 freestyle: 1, Beck, D, 55.53. 2, Rott, J, 1:02.20. 3, Kad. Schmidt, J, 1:02.34. 4, Casey Tuhy, D, 1:03.41. 5, Kane Schmidt, J, 1:16.95.
200 freestyle: 1, Cole Rasmusson, J, 2:02.82. 2, Tuhy, D, 2:16.57. 3, Schmeichel, J, 2:33.70. 4, Teddy Solensky, D, 2:34.20. 5, Kilic, D, 2:34.43.
200 individual medley: 1, Haglund, J, 2:19.19. 2, Flann, J, 2:26.35. 3, Irwin, D, 2:36.78. 4, Goodrie, J, 2:40.89. 5, Detric Coleman, D, 2:52.25.
200 medley relay: 1, Jamestown 'A' (Haglund, Flann, Wright, Pfieffer), 1:50.67. 2, Dickinson 'A' (T. Wilson, Ellerkamp, D. Wilson, Beck), 1:52.69. 3, Dickinson 'B' (Rothstein, Kilic, Devero, Luke Heiser), 2:44.92.
500 freestyle: 1, Rasmusson, J, 5:31.36. 2, T. Wilson, D, 5:49.07. 3, Ellerkamp, D, 6:28.30. 4, Detric Coleman, D, 6:46.50. 5, Solensky, J, 6:46.93.
200 freestyle relay: 1, Jamestown 'A' (Wright, Goodrie, Root, Rasmusson), 1:46.12. 2, Dickinson 'A' (Coleman, Healy, Irwin, Tuhy), 1:54.98. 3, Jamestown 'B' (Jameson Holgerson, Schmeichel, Braden Hart, Solensky), 2:00.78.
400 freestyle relay: 1, Dickinson 'A' (Beck, D. Wilson, T. Wilson, Ellerkamp), 3:52.82. 2, Jamestown 'B' (Goodrie, Gage Poland, Rott, Kad. Schmidt), 4:12.33. 3, Dickinson 'B' (Irwin, Healy, Coleman, Tuhy), 4:23.40.
1-meter diving: 1, D. Wilson, D, 190.10. 2, Poland, J, 183.25. 3, Cameron Winstead, J, 159.75. 4, Holgerson, J, 157.80.