MHS swim wins double dual

Magi best Grand Forks Knight Riders and Jamestown Blue Jays

Ashton Gerard/MDN Minot High senior Gannon Miller takes a breath during his 100-yard butterfly, Friday at Magic City Campus. Miller finished second with a time of 1:00.21.

The Minot High swim team made a splash Friday, winning almost every single event swam and then some. At least one to two Magicians were present in the top three of each event, some swimming their best times of the year.

Minot High defeated Jamestown 140-46 and Grand Forks 143-43 at Magic City Campus. Grand Forks bested Jamestown 96-89.

“I was happy with how much thought the guys were putting into their races and how focused they were,” Minot High head coach Jake Solper said. “William Walker-Rozo had two great races where he came in the top spot and also posted season-best times in both of those races.”

Those races, the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle, were both events Walker-Rozo dominated.

In his 200-yard individual medley, where he finished at 2 minutes, 4.96 seconds, he bested Jonas Flann of Jamestown by 11 seconds. In his 500-yard freestyle, he came in ahead of fellow Magician Peyton Huss by 10 seconds with a final time of 5:12.96.

Not only did Walker-Rozo put up season-best times, but senior Easton Evanoff achieved a time he’s been waiting on all year in his 100-yard backstroke. It was something both Evanoff and Solper were happy to see.

“It’s been kind of a long season, midseason is hard to cut time, so to get out and go 56 (seconds) and almost go state time was pretty exciting,” Evanoff said.

Having hung around at 57 seconds the majority of the season, this drop in time was a long awaited moment. Last year at the state meet, Evanoff took fifth with a time of 56.42. At the double dual, he raced a 56.60 and now has the confidence that he can go into state knowing he can better his time from last year.

“It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders,” Evanoff said of the time. “I’ve been struggling this season with it.”

Evanoff also participated in the 50-yard freestyle, coming in second behind Steve Novak. Novak finished the race at 23.34, with Evanoff right on his tail at 23.40.

Solper, along with the diving coach Kao Jenne, said they were pretty happy with the divers’ performances today, having three guys in the top four.

The top scoring divers for the Magi were Reece Pederson at second with 164.60, Layton King at third with 160.90 and Harrison Shanklin with 150.75. With these scores, each has achieved the state consideration total over six dives.

The first place diver, Jameson Holgerson of Jamestown, won with a score of 166.85.

Each Minot High ‘A’ relay finished first, and multiple relays were able to score points for the team in each relay event. The 200-medley relay saw two Minot relays in the top three. The winning relay, comprised of Jack Wolsky, Aaron Gochanour, Novak and Evanoff, finished with a time of 1:47.88. The second, or ‘B’, Minot relay team finished with a time of 1:54.82, seconds behind Jamestown’s relay team.

In the 200-yard relay, Magicians Walker-Rozo, Gannon Miller, Zac Spaulding and Novak were able to put up a time of 1:34.31 for a convincing win over both the Grand Forks and Jamestown relays.

Other first place finishes for the Magi include Charlie Wentz at the 200-yard freestyle, Spaulding at the 100-yard freestyle, and Griffin Schaeffer at the 100-yard breaststroke.

“Today’s meet was a really positive note for our guys and I think that their confidence levels will be a little bit higher after today.” Solper said. “They’ll also understand that in the next few meets to come getting back to the times they swam today will be a little unlikely just because we’re kind of in the meat of our training.”

It will be interesting to see how the swimmers perform today as they head to the pool again for a home invitational. Solper says this will simulate the preliminaries of the state meet coming at the beginning of March.

“Our biggest meet of the season is the state meet and it’s a prelims final, so your hope is always that your guys will be able to handle a back-to-back competition situation,” he said.

Guys who can’t pick up and perform two days in a row will have a psychological barrier to break through as they head towards the end of the season.

“As a whole our guys did well, and I think part of that is swimming in front of our home crowd,” Solper said. “They’ve got a lot of friends and families that are here supporting them so we appreciated everyone that showed up.”

The Magi hit the pool again today as they face Bismarck High, Dickinson, Bismarck Legacy, Mandan and Williston starting at 11 a.m. at Magic City Campus.