Magi swim & dive outlasts opponents, wins Minot Invite
After capturing two wins in a double dual against the Grand Forks KnightRiders and West Fargo on Friday night, the Minot High School boys swimming and diving team went right back to business on Saturday.
The Magicians won the Minot Invite in resounding fashion. Minot posted a final score of 663, while West Fargo placed second with a score of 394.
“Having back-to-back meets is kind of a good test for some of our guys,” Minot head coach Jake Solper said. “It’s challenging to give everything you’ve got on a Friday, then come back the next day and perform at peak level again. That’s what the guys have to do at state, so it’s nice to have these experiences a few times throughout the season.”
Minot kicked off Saturday’s festivities with a win. Jaxon Reinke (27.73), Jack Wolsky (28.76), Dominic Yoder (24.67) and Griffin Schaeffer (23.16) earned a victory in the 200-yard medley relay.
Minot’s Alexander King continued his prolific weekend with a victory in the 200-yard freestyle event. King finished with a final time of 1:51.45.
Yoder kept the Magi’s winning streak going with a strong finish in the 200-yard individual medley. His time of 2:02.94 gave him a convincing victory.
“We all cheer for each other,” Yoder said. “We’re all down at the end of the deck. The coaches are sitting there at the end of the deck too, and they give us so much feedback and input on what we can do to fix our strokes. With that and your teammates congratulating you, it just brings you so much more motivation.”
Zac Spaulding (23.32) earned a second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle. West Fargo’s Timothy Hulbert (22.67) won the event.
Minot’s William-Walker Rozo edged out Legacy’s Shawn Holweger for first place in the 100-yard butterfly event. Walker-Rozo finished with a score of 56.39, while Holweger posted a time of 56.50.
“We had a lot of mixed performances,” Solper said. “Some guys were able to achieve some best times, some personal-best times and some season-best times. Some of our other guys, our current spot in our training is showing through. They don’t have quite the finish in them, but that’s something we’re happy with. We could tell that every guy was competing at 100% effort.”
The 100-yard freestyle event also featured a close finish. In a battle of sophomores, Minot’s Grant Schaeffer (50.70) edged out Mandan’s Javier Aguero-Montero (50.84).
Williston freshman Kolden Kringen (5:06.01) won the 500-yard freestyle event. King (5:12.65) took the second-place spot.
Another Magi relay team came through in the clutch. Wolsky (23.32), Grant Schaeffer (22.79), King (22.90) and Griffin Schaeffer won the 200-yard freestyle relay event with a final time of 1:32.07.
“We had some great competition,” Solper said. “The other six teams all bring some incredible athletes. They push our guys, so it was a lot of fun.”
Yoder posted a season-best 54.86 in the 100-yard backstroke event. After earning the victory, he celebrated with elated teammates.
“For me, it was knowing that my team was behind my back the entire time,” Yoder said. “Knowing that I had competition out there, and just getting in the mindset of swimming. Just trying to focus on what I could do to improve during practice. It’s helped me out so much.”
Griffin Schaeffer (1:04.25) posted a second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke event. Wolsky (1:04.45) finished in third place.
Once again, the 400-yard freestyle relay team came through with a win. Grant Schaeffer (50.81), Yoder (50.09), King (51.18) and Walker-Rozo (50.86) combined for a final score of 3:22.94.
Minot’s Layton King (414.25) and Harrison Shanklin (346.85) took second and third place, respectively, in the 1-meter diving event.
After the meet concluded, ear-to-ear grins filled the Magi’s faces.
“We had such great sportsmanship with each other,” Yoder said. “We were always cheering for each other, and we were always there… I think that got us to where we are right now.”
Minot will travel to West Fargo for a pair of invites next weekend. The first meet will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, while the second competition is set for 10:30 a.m.
Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.