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Ellerkamp, Bratten win their heats: DHS swimming shows improvements against Century

Dickinson junior swimmer Isaac Ellerkamp placed second in the 100-yard butterfly in a dual against Bismarck Century on Thursday, Jan. 18 at the West River Community Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

It's not often that a swimmer shaves a second off their personal best time. Steven Bratten, a sophomore on the Dickinson High boys swimming and diving team did just that when he took first in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 58.98 seconds.

The victory was one of two for the Midgets in their dual against Bismarck Century, which they lost 128-49 on Thursday, Jan. 18 at the West River Community Center.

"I think he's really been working on his underwater, trying to work the turns and starts and getting after it that way," Dickinson head coach Mike Sullivan said. "He wasn't feeling the best earlier this week so it's kind of surprising he was able to cut. That's always good to see when they cut time."

Junior swimmer Isaac Ellerkamp earned the second win for Dickinson in the following event, with a time of 1:07.58 in the 100-yard breaststroke.

With little recovery time, Ellerkamp and Bratten joined senior Garrett Billings and freshman Taven Wilson in the 400-yard freestyle relay to close out the night.

Billings started the relay with a personal best time in the opening leg. Bratten swam next, followed by Wilson and finally Ellerkamp, who barely had time to catch his breath since finishing the breaststroke.

"We were all really tired because we just swam," Bratten said. "But we are a team and we push each other forward to do great things and do our best."

The team earned second with a time of 3:54.48. The same foursome earned second in the 200 medley relay as well.

Ellerkamp also earned second in the 100 butterfly, narrowly missing first place by two-tenths of a second.

Due to the size and competitiveness of the Patriots, Sullivan wasn't surprised at the final team scores.

"We fared pretty well," Sullivan said. "We had a couple good swims. The 500 was good. Casey Tuhy had a good swim individually."

Tuhy placed fourth in the 500 freestyle with a time of six minutes and 46.23 seconds. He also took fifth in the 200 medley relay alongside Jackson Metcalf, Aiden Healy and Jesse Bjerken.

The eighth grader also swam on the 200 yard freestyle relay team, helping them earn fourth place. He also swam the 50-yard freestyle in 30.78 seconds, good for fifth place.

Billings earned third in the 50 and 100 freestyle races, bested by two Patriot swimmers each time, including Chris Birnbaum. The sophomore placed first in his four events, including the 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle and two relays.

Another highlight of the evening, was eighth grade diver Dawson Wilson earning a new record in the 1-meter diving event. He earned 185.80 points over six dives.

Bismarck Century senior Josh Pikarski, who is one of the top-three divers in the state, according to Sullivan, earned 266.50 points to take first place.

Bratten credits mental strength rather than physical preparedness for his personal and the team's success.

"My mental game is really strong as far as this year compared to last year," he said. "As a team we've been doing a lot more mental work rather than physical to have a nice balance."

Team scores: 1, Bismarck Century 128. 2, Dickinson 49.

200 medley relay: 1, Century A (Charles Koebele, Jayden Porter, Riley Kaul, Chris Birnbaum), 1:46.26. 2, Dickinson A (Steven Bratten, Isaac Ellerkamp, Taven Wilson, Garrett Billings), 1:51.14. 5, Dickinson B (Casey Tuhy, Jackson Metcalf, Aiden Healy, Jesse Bjerken), 2:33.81.

50 freestyle: 1, Birnbaum, C, 23.24. 3, Billings, D, 24.34. 5, Tuhy, D, 30.78. 6, Metcalf, D, 33.15.

100 backstroke: 1, Bratten, D, 58.98. 2, Trusten Ruhland, C, 1:03.30. 5, Bjerken, D, 1:54.59.

100 breaststroke: 1, Ellerkamp, D, 1:07.58. 2, Zander Beau, C, 1:17.56. 3, Wilson, D, 1:22.18. 6, Metcalf, D, 1:30.55.

100 butterfly: 1, Koevele, C, 1:01.76. 2, Ellerkamp, D, 1:01.96.

100 freestyle: 1, Birnbaum, C, 51.21. 3, Billings, D, 56.32. 5, Healy, D, 1:06.40. 6, Luke Heiser, D, 1:42.70.

200 freestyle: 1, Ruhland, C, 1:59.21. 4, Dawson Wilson, D, 2:16.06.

200 individual medley: 1, Ryan Johnson, C, 2:13.54. 4, T. Wilson, D, 2:40.41.

500 freestyle: 1, Johnson, C, 5:24.17. 4, Tuhy, D, 6:46.23. 5, Detric Coleman, D, 7:48.04.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Century A (Porter, Koebele, Ruhland, Birnbaum), 1:35.23. 4, Dickinson A (Healy, Tuhy, D. Wilson, Metcalf), 2:05.44.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Century A (Adam Nodland, Ruhland, Kaul, Johnson), 3:35.83. 2, Dickinson A (Billings, Bratten, T. Wilson, Ellerkamp), 3:54.48

1-meter diving: 1, Josh Pikarski, C, 266.50. 2, D. Wilson, D, 185.80.