Sarah Bogenrief missed her season best in the 100 breaststroke by 9 tenths of a second. But the Minot High senior still had 0.18 seconds to spare as she out-touched Century eighth-grader Vanessa Herrmann to lead MHS to a 102-84 dual win Tuesday evening at Magic City Campus.
"I couldn't really see her, but I knew that she was right next to me just from all the people cheering," Bogenrief said. "I just kept my arms going, got my kick a little faster and pushed it until I hit the wall."
Bogenrief finished in 1:12.04 to spot the Majettes a 92-80 lead heading into the final event, which made a Century comeback extremely unlikely.
Minot High junior Francesca Walker-Rozo swims the 100 butterfly on Tuesday at Magic City Campus.
"That was huge," MHS coach Dan Hinton said. "I don't know if that was a best (time) of the season for her or not, but I do know that was a big race for us. We were definitely much stronger in the second half of the meet."
Century had Hinton sweating bullets early in the race, when the Patriots swiped four of the first five events - including two close finishes.
MHS's favored 200 medley relay squad of junior Sydney Clark, senior Devin Scott, junior Alexis Clark and Bogenrief finished 0.55 seconds behind Century, and sophomore Emily Hamel came up 0.20 ticks short in the 50 freestyle.
"I have to admit, when they took that medley relay and they did some damage to us in the 200 free," Hinton said, "it really made me sit down and look at the program to see what I needed to do to get us going. Looking at it, I saw that we still had a lot of strength left in us."
MHS junior Francesca Walker-Rozo, Hamel and junior McKenna Brown led their races - 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle and 500 freestyle, respectively - from start to finish for easy wins. Walker-Rozo, Brown, Scott and Hamel recorded a season-best time of 1:43.20 in the 200 freestyle relay.
Then Century junior Dani Bergeson routed the field by nearly 6 seconds to claim the 100 backstroke, which set the stage for Bogenrief.
The Majettes led by 10, needing to fend off Century in the final two events.
"I was pretty tired from the 500 free," Bogenrief said, "but I just knew that the team was counting on me for those points, so I just stuck my head down and gave it all I had."
Bogenrief and Herrmann alternated paper-thin leads at each turn in the 25-yard pool, resulting in the dramatic finish.
The Majettes put away the dual with 10 points in the 400 freestyle relay - eight from Alexis Clark, Walker-Rozo, Brown and Hamel, who notched a season-best time of 3:50.15 for first place.
Hinton said a loss to Century would've provided him a teaching tool, but MHS will take away plenty from the win.
"I think it's still going to be a learning experience for them," he said. "It's still kind of a reality check in the sense that we're not invincible here. We can be beat. (Being tested) is a good thing."
Ryan Holmgren covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.