Former DHS swimmers set to make a splash

NCAA Division II National Championships to feature two Midget stand-outs competing as freshmen.

Dawson Wilson jumps off the diving board.
Contributed / Mandy Wilson

DICKINSODICKINSON — Two former Dickinson boys swim and dive team standout athletes are set to take center stage at the NCAA Division II national championships, as they make their mark on the college sports scene as freshmen.

The two athletes are Dickinson’s All-State swimmer and diver, from last year, Dawson Wilson and Mason Beck. The two continued their athletic careers across the country from one another, but are set for a lucky reunion after they both pulled off unbelievable starts to their collegiate careers with appearances at the national championship.

The NCAA meet will take place in Indianapolis, Ind., and will be held March 8-11. Dawson will be competing as a diver and Beck will be competing in the relays.

Wilson will be representing the Colorado Mesa University Mavericks, who are in the top 5 of the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division II polls. Being on such a prestigious team has been a strong motivator for Wilson to compete at his best and eagerly embraces the encumbrance training he has endured over his freshman season.

“It is definitely a whole different ball park, as far as harder and longer practices,” Wilson said. “It is definitely more on you mentally and physically as it is in High School and yet I enjoy it because it's a challenge for me and I love it.”


Wilson spoke highly of his team and coaches, who have all been supportive to his development, including diving coach Billy McGowan, who has 20 years of experience coaching division I.

“My college level has a more personalized workout plan and heading up to nationals we are going through all of our dives and constantly going through and through,” Wilson said. “We have a senior this year, who was a national champion last year for the Division II three meter and it is nice having him around because he offers his experience and knowledge having been at nationals and gives me one-on-one tips."

Despite the pressure and the high stakes of the competition, Beck has remained mentally focused and composed for nationals. He has prepared tirelessly for this moment, both physically and mentally, and is determined to give it his all. Being where he is at now was nothing he imagined happening, but thanks to the Dickinson community for having their part in his development he is exactly where he is supposed to be.

Mason Beck diving into the water.
Contributed / Mandy Wilson

“I didn't expect to do as well as I am, but it comes down to the training and it is really a great team to be a part of,” Beck said. “I came from a good team, with a good coach and just a good community in Dickinson and I think that led me to a better position and has set me up well and my accomplishments have shown that.”

Competing for St. Cloud State Huskies in relays will be Beck, whose goal is to become an All-American and compete in individual events in the next few years.

“Really hoping that at least one, or maybe a few of the relays can place top eight and then I'll become an All-American,” Beck said. “That would be awesome as a freshman… I think there is a good chance that might happen. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.”

The two friends may not be on each other's team, but anticipate that they might be able to catch the other competing and showcase their Midgets alumni passion as they cheer one another on and compare how each has developed over the season.

“There aren't any events that we are going to be in, but I definitely want to see him and would hope to be able to see him swim,” Wilson said. “That definitely would be nice, just to see how much he has improved.”


Beck added, “I would love to see him. He is one of my best friends..It will probably be like we just saw each other the other day… We are pretty close and it will be good to see him again, see how he is doing and watch him dive and compete.”

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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