North Dakota High School Girls’ Swimming & Diving State Championship
- November 15th-16th, 2019
- Bismarck, North Dakota
- 25-yard course, prelims/finals format
The Bismarck – Century High School swimming & diving dynasty rolled on Saturday, with the Patriots taking their 5th consecutive state championship.
While the streak is in-tact, the margins are narrowing: the team beat West Fargo Sheyenne High by 26.5 points, which is the smallest margin of the run. Their previous 4 titles came by an average margin of over 112 points. Part of the softening came when Century High disqualified their meet-opening 200 medley relay, which was the top seed coming in to the meet and likely would have scored them at least 30 points.
Top 5 Team Finishers, 2019:
- Bismarck Century High School – 355.5
- West Fargo Sheyenne High School – 329
- Fargo Davies High School – 292.5
- West Fargo High School – 177
- Minot High School – 155
Bismarck was led by junior Lexi Duchsherer, who won both the 50 and 100 yard freestyles. That includes a new State Record of 22.91 in the 50 free final. The swim broke her own record of 23.07 set in prelims, which in turn broke her record of 23.30 set last year as a sophomore.
She later won the 100 free in 50.36: a two-and-a-half second margin over runner-up Madi Yonke of Sheyenne High School. That was a crucial victory while the two schools were locked in a battle for the team title.
Duchsherer also anchored the team’s meet-clinching 400 free relay, which won in a time of 3:22.22. Her 4th swim was as a member of that disqualified 200 medley relay.
Duchsherer has not yet announced a college commitment.
She was one of three swimmers to pick up two individual victories at the meet – all three of those swimmers are underclassmen.
Grand Forks – Red River High sophomore Elsa Musselman started her day with a win in the girls’ 200 yard free, swimming a 1:53.12 that is a new lifetime best for her. That makes her 2-for-2 in state titles in the 200 free in her high school career after winning last year as a freshman as well.
Musselman picked up a 2nd title in the 100 fly, swimming 57.57. That’s a new event for her at this state meet, as she shifted from the 100 free to the 100 fly, which among other things allowed her to avoid running into Duchsherer. That 100 fly final had 4 freshmen, 1 sophomore, 2 junior, and just a single senior in it – a microcosm of what was a very youthful meet overall in Bismarck.
The other double winner was Williston High School sophomore Marissa Branham. She started with a comfortable win in the 200 IM in 2:09.34, which cut more than 3 seconds off her previous lifetime best. She won the B-Final in this event at last year’s state meet in a 2:14.
After winning by almost 2 seconds in that race, she had a nailbiter in the 100 breaststroke, but came away with the title in 1:05.59. Century sophomore Erin Palmer was an inch behind in 1:05.64 for 2nd place.
Other 2019 North Dakota State Champions:
- The West Fargo High relay of Liv Hettinger, Hannah Potter, Tatum Brooks, and Alexis Doeling combined to win the girls’ 200 medley relay in 1:48.51. Century had won that relay in every other year of its state title run.
- Fargo – Davies’ Mya Winjum won the girls’ 1-meter diving event with a score of 412.20. Along with her teammate Madison Hischer, Davies went 1-2 in the event, and had 4 total scorers (including an 8th grader placing 12th). Winjum was the only senior to win an individual event on the day.
- Davies, the only real contender that is senior-heavy, also took the title in the 200 free relay with a team of Gracie Lingle, Vivianne Soforenko, Regan Wical, and Liddy Ohe. All 4 of those swimmers are seniors, and they swam a 1:38.45 – just out-touching Century’s 2nd-place relay that finished in 1:38.60.
- Grand Forks Central’s Madeline Elseth won the 500 free in 5:15.62, with the defending champion Jordyn Danielson from Red River slipping to 5th place. The top 2 in the 500 free (McKayla Donat in 5:16.18 being the other) were both freshmen.
- Liv Hettinger, after leading-off the state champion 200 medley relay, picked up a 2nd title via a victory in the 100 yard backstroke. There she swam a 56.93. That’s her lifetime best by almost a second.