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DHS girls swimming and diving placed sixth at State Meet

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The Dickinson Midgets girls swim team finished its 2020 season with a strong sixth-place finish. (Matthew Curry/The Dickinson Press)

After embracing the unpredictable season competing their very best in the pool, the Dickinson girls swimming and diving team ended its season on a strong note, placing sixth in the state meet in Bismarck. The Midgets were hoping for placing in the top five, but were happy with the overall finish.

As a team, the Midgets finished with an overall score of 142 points, falling just short to Williston High in fifth place with 162 points. The Midgets had a slower start to the competition with a slower start in the morning times, but solid efforts in the afternoon helped them get near their goal of being in the top five.

“We didn't quite get as good of time drops as we were maybe hoping for, but we have to remember all the obstacles and the different variables we've had to overcome through the season and be thankful we were able to complete our entire season,” head coach Jenna Wolf said. “Without all of the teams being in one session together swimming against each other and the pool a bit emptier and quieter, the energy just didn't quite seem to be there like a typical state meet should be.”

The Midgets saw some strong finishes at the state meet. Sisters Hailey and Charley Rathgeber both finished in the top eight of their individual races. Hailey finished seventh in the 200-freestyle with a time of 2:01.32, and sixth in the 100-freestyle with a time of 55.73. Charley paced seventh in the 50-freestyle with a 25.37 time, and fourth in the 100-freestyle with a 55.28 time.

Ninth-grader Mara Ellerkamp placed in the top 16 in both of her individual races. The young swimmer placed ninth in the 500-freestyle with a time of 5:33.47, followed by her teammate, eighth-grader Taylor Miller in 10th with a 5:35.67 time. Ellerkamp also placed 16th in the 200-freestyle with 2:05.64.

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Miller also competed in the 50-yard freestyle and finished with a time of 26.11 to place 20th in the competition.

Eighth-grader McKenna Mettler finished 12th in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:04.93.

As for relays, Midgets placed sixth the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:44.67 and the 400-yard freestyle with 3:48.20.

In diving, junior McKenzie Swisher placed 15th in the 1-meter dive with a score of 327.10. Fisher believes that is the best diving result the Midgets swim team has to date.

“I don’t believe we’ve had a diver ever get past the first five rounds,” she said. “For her first year of diving, to get into that top 20 and then get into that top 16 is a huge positive note for her.”

Despite just coming short of being in the top five, Fisher was very proud of her team and their constant hard work and dedication to be the best swimmers they could be all season long.

“They were hardworking and determined to keep going each week and try to get the job done,” Wolf said.

While the team will lose seniors Jaydin Decker, Hailey Rathgeber and Kara Wanner next season, Wolf said the team has a lot to look forward to next season and the seasons to come.

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“It will be a big loss of losing Haylie Rathgeber, Kayla and Jayden, but we have some of those younger girls that kind of placed in those middle groups at the state meet,” Wolf said. “Just looking forward to seeing them get stronger as they get older. We’ll hopefully have a couple of those girls back that were injured this year that didn’t get to swim at their full potential. Some didn’t get to swim at all. Hopefully they can be back so we can continue to be a strong DHS team that we have been.”

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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