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Century's Lexi Duchsherer swims in the 100-yard freestyle en route to winning her heat at the first day of the state swimming and diving meet at the Bismarck Aquatics and Fitness center on Friday.

MIKE MCCLEARY, TRIBUNE

The sprints should be intriguing today at the state swimming and diving meet at the Bismarck Aquatic & Wellness Center.

In prelim action on Friday, Gracie Lingle of Fargo Davies did what few have -- beat Century freshman speedster Lexi Duchsherer.

In the 50 free, Lingle touched in a time of 23.7 seconds to Duchsherer's 23.74.

The order was the same in the 100 free with Lingle's 51.54 edging Duchsherer's 52.1. Century's Briana Rittenbach (53.08) was third.

The tale will truly be told today in the finals. Diving begins at 10:30 a.m. with swimming at 1:30.

Century is the prohibitive favorite to win its third straight team title. A big reason for that is Vanessa Herrmann. The University of Arkansas-bound senior led a 1-2-3 Century finish in the 100 breaststroke. Carly Palmer was second and Avery Meyhoff third.

Herrmann swam away from the field in the 200 individual medley by nearly six seconds. Mandan's Mayson Sheldon was fifth.

Rittenbach owns the state record in the backstroke and was in fine form on Friday with a four-second edge over anybody else.

Grand Forks Central's Lexi Ljunggren got off to a sizzling start. She posted the top time in the 200 and 500 freestyles.

In the 100 butterfly, Fargo North's Anna Astrup clocked in first. Carly Palmer of Century was second.

On the diving board, a pair from Fargo Davies top the charts. Isabelle Chambers totaled 193.7 points. Mya Winjum (196.6) is three and change back. 

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