Dickinson girls' swim and dive compete in final home meets of the season

The regular season came to a close for the Dickinson Midgets girl's swim team this weekend.

Reilly Meyer in the 100 butterfly against the Moorhead Spuds Friday, Oct. 29 at the West River Community Center in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

With just a couple left in the season, the Dickinson girls' swim & dive team competed in their final pair of home meets as they prepared for the final stretch on their schedule.

For the first time since mid-september, the Midgets stayed home for two meets over the weekend, including a dual meet against the Moorhead Spuds out of Minnesota Friday night. They lost the battle 99-82, but had one new swimmer qualify for the state meet.

Freshman Hannah Mescke qualified in the 50 freestyle by the slimmest of margins, clocking a 27.46, just under the time cut of 27.48.

The Spuds dominated in the pool, winning ten of the 11 events, as well as the diving competition. The lone win for Dickinson came in the 500 freestyle with freshman Taylor Miller leading wire-to-wire with a 5:32.71 final time. The next closest finisher was Moorhead’s Jenna Brendemuhl at 5:53.39.


Ericka Williams (left) races against the Moorhead Spuds in the 100 breaststroke Friday, Oct. 29 at the West River Community Center in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson came in second in every event except for the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke. The closest they came to winning another event was the 50 freestyle, with sophomore Aryana Twist finishing second at 26.15, behind Moorhead eighth-grader Anna Hoff at 25.59.

The 200 freestyle relay quartet for the Midgets of Miller, Twist, Mara Ellerkamp, and Charley Rathgeber set a new season best with a 1:44.76. As of now, that relay sits as the third fastest time in the state.

On Saturday, Bismarck High joined Dickinson and Moorhead for a three team invite. It was the final regular season meet for Dickinson that had a number of impressive performances.

The diving portion of the meet was held in the morning with senior Kenzie Swisher taking first with a score of 354.40, which set a new school record. Freshman Brenna Jo Wolbaum took third at 342.80.

Senior Hedvig Brakel took 7th, but her score of 286.10 qualified her for the state meet, joining Swisher and Wolbaum. All three divers set personal bests on Saturday.

In the swimming portion, the Midgets added another new member to their state team, senior Reilly Meyer. She qualified not only in one event, but three; the 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 100 freestyle. She led off the 400 freestyle relay which made her swim eligible to qualify.


Mara Ellerkamp competing in the 100 backstroke Friday, Oct. 29 at the West River Community Center in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

Overall Dickinson was second out of the three teams with 614 points. Moorhead took first at 751 and Bismarck was third at 435.

The Midgets won two events, Twist in the 200 individual medley and Miller in the 50 freestyle. Individually, Dickinson had 11 top-three swims. All three of their relays came in second behind Moorhead.

As the regular season comes to a close, Dickinson will begin preparations for the final two meets; the WDA Championships on Nov. 6 and the state meet in Bismarck on Nov. 12-13.

The Midgets currently have eight swimmers and three divers qualified for the state meet, having met the time standards or scores in their events throughout the season. Meschke and Meyer will join the other swimmers who have qualified for state; Miller, Rathgeber, Twist, Ellerkamp, Ericka Williams, and McKenna Mettler.

Charley Rathgeber dives in for the final leg of Dickinson's 200 freestyle relay Friday, Oct. 29 at the West River Community Center in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

“We’re doing extremely well,” Dickinson head coach Jenna Wolf said. “They’ve exceeded some of my expectations for the year. We’ve been in some of these invites and we’re in the mix after those top teams. The girls are swimming strong, they’re working on the fine tuning coming into these last few weeks.”


Preparations for the last two meets begin on Monday, with Wolf having an eye on a few swimmers who are close to making the cut, having faith they could qualify at the WDA championships.

“(It’s about getting) their minds where they need to be,” Wolf said. “They’ve put in the work throughout the season so now it’s just the mindset of feeling fast.


Top Dickinson finisher in each event

200 Medley Relay - 2nd, McKenna Mettler, Ericka Williams, Reilly Meyer, Hannah Meschke, 2:04.65; 200 Freestyle - 2nd, Charley Rathgeber, 2:02.14; 200 Individual Medley - 2nd, Mara Ellerkamp, 2:21.29; 50 Freestyle - 2nd, Aryana Twist, 26.15; 1 meter diving - 2nd, Kenzie Swisher, 188.80; 100 Butterfly - 2nd, Twist, 1:03.76; 100 Freestyle - 2nd, Rathgeber, 56.41; 500 Freestyle - 1st, Miller, 5:32.71; 200 Freestyle Relay - 2nd, Miller, Ellerkamp, Twist, Rathgeber, 1:44.76; 100 Backstroke - 4th, Mettler, 1:06.47; 100 Breaststroke - Ericka Williams, 1:17.88; 400 Freestyle Relay - Miller, Ellerkamp, Twist, Rathgeber, 3:51.54


Team Results

1st - Moorhead, 751

2nd - Dickinson, 614

3rd - Bismarck High, 435

Top Dickinson finisher in each event

200 Medley Relay - 2nd, Mettler, Williams, Meyer, Meschke, 2:04.22; 200 Freestyle - 3rd, Charley Rathgeber, 2:03.36; 200 Individual Medley - 1st, Twist, 2:25.55; 50 Freestyle - 1st, Miller, 25.48; 1 meter diving - 1st, Kenzie Swisher, 354.40; 100 Butterfly - 2nd, Miller, 1:04.97; 100 Freestyle - 2nd, Ellerkamp, 58.69; 500 Freestyle - 3rd, Ellerkamp, 5:39.10; 200 Freestyle Relay - 2nd, Miller, Twist, Ellerkamp, Rathgeber, 1:45.46; 100 Backstroke - 3rd, Mettler, 1:08.45; 100 Breaststroke - 8th, Hannah Meschke, 1:24.69; 400 Freestyle Relay - Miller, Twist, Ellerkamp, Rathgeber, 3:51.54

Race Archibald is a former sports reporter with The Dickinson Press.
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