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MHS overcomes cold weather woes in duel against Bismarck High

Ashton Gerard/MDN Minot High School senior Mikel Bahl swims the breaststroke portion of the 200-yard medley relay during a dual against Bismarck High Thursday at Magic City Campus.

Two days spent out of the water can feel like a lifetime during the middle of the season, but the Minot High School boys swimming and diving team handled it well when they returned to the pool Thursday for a duel against Bismarck High. The Magicians were victorious, 158-28.

Due to the extreme cold that swept across the Midwest, Minot High canceled after school activities Tuesday and canceled school Wednesday. Thursday warmups before the meet was the first time the team was able to get back in the water.

“There definitely was a little different feel to the meet not having swum the two days prior,” MHS head coach Jake Solper said. “I thought our guys handled it really well, a lot of them felt a little different when they hopped in for warm ups today and had to maybe make some mental adjustments, but we still had quite a few guys that were able to post some season-best times.”

Many first-year swimmers were able to post career-best times Thursday while the veteran swimmers were able to hang around the times they’ve posted so far this season.

“A lot of positives came out of the meet and we’re glad that Bismarck was still willing to make the trip after a couple days off, so it was a great opportunity for the guys to be in the water and be competitive,” Solper said.

Juniors Zac Spaulding and William Walker-Rozo each won both of their individual events Thursday.

Spaulding began the day taking first in the 50-yard freestyle with a 23.05, followed immediately by fellow Magi Steve Novak at 23.50 and Jack Wolsky at 23.55. Spaulding went on to also take first in the 100 freestyle with a final time of 51.03 followed by Dominic Yoder at 51.42 and Novak at 54.09.

Walker-Rozo took first in the 100 butterfly with a 55.45 followed by Peyton Huss at 58.06 and Griffin Schaffer at 58.19. He then went on to take first in the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.42 with eighth-grader Jaxon Reinke finishing in second with a 1:04.01.

“We’ve got a team that’s pretty full of some pretty top-notch athletes, so for those two to be able to out-touch not only our opposition in Bismarck High swimmers but also their own teammates that their training with and to do that in both of their individual events was pretty good,” Solper said.

Minot’s medley relay consisting of Keegan Summers, Jack Wolsky, William Walker-Rozo and Zac Spaulding dropped over a second off their seeded time to take first with a 1:46.85.

Huss took first in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.11, out-touching sophomore Yoder who finished with a 1:57.22.

Minot’s top three in the 200 individual medley each dropped time. Alexander King dropped three seconds for a 2:12.01, Grant Schaeffer dropped almost four and a half seconds for a 2:16.51 and L Roongin dropped almost two seconds for a 2:24.16.

Minot’s Layton King took first for the Magi in the diving well with a final score of 237.55 followed by Mason Robertson with a 185 and Reece Pederson with a 179.80.

“Right now, my four state qualifiers from last year are all trying harder dives which I’m all about because harder means better but doesn’t always mean they’ll do better,” Jenne said. “But we’re still working on doing the harder dives to compete later on.”

Up next, the Magicians will travel to Bismarck on Saturday for the Century Invitational beginning at 10 a.m. at Bismarck State College Aquatic and Wellness Center. Then, they will be back in Bismarck for a dual Thursday, Feb. 7.

“Next Thursday we’re going to have to put together a pretty strong lineup. We would like to do the best that we can against Century,” Solper said. “They’re a strong team and they’ve had a pretty dominant run at five titles in a row and you know that every time they get in the pool they give it their best effort so we’re going to have to do the same thing.”

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