A West Region championship? Check.
Three new regional records? Check.
Three regional titles and seven individual crowns? Check.
The Century Patriots had a big day on Saturday at the West Region swimming and diving meet at the Bismarck Aquatic and Wellness Center.
But while Kathy Aspaas was more than pleased with her team’s results in the pool in the regional meet, she was most happy with the way her team prepared to go after its third consecutive state title next week.
“What’s most important was just to see the happy, smiling girls,” Aspaas said. “To see that they’re happy with the efforts they put in, and to know that next week is going to bring even better results.”
The Patriots won 10 of the 12 events on Saturday and showed their depth in piling up 565.5 points to cruise to a big victory in the West Region meet. They did so while making sure they were preparing for the state meet next week in the same pool.
“We were very pleased with our efforts today,” said Aspaas, who was named the West Region coach of the year. “A lot of teams are fully tapered, we’re not fully tapered. Some of the girls were competing against swimmers who are wearing fast suits, and we opted to not do that unless we were in a situation of trying to get a WDA record, which we got three of them.
“Just some really good swims that put us in a good mental attitude for next week at practice leading into the state meet.”
Vanessa Herrmann – the West Region Senior Athlete of the Year – combined with Briana Rittenbach, Carly Palmer and Lexi Duchsherer to set a new region 200 medley relay record, finishing in a time of 1:47.50.
Herrmann, an Arkansas commit, also won a pair of individual titles in the 200 freestyle (1:55.56) and the 500 freestyle (23.69).
Duchsherer won a pair of individual titles – setting a new West Region record in the 50 freestyle (23.69) and taking the 100 freestyle in 51.81.
Rittenbach won the 100 backstroke, touching in 56.84 to set a new regional standard.
Palmer added a pair of individual victories – the 100 butterfly (1:00.86) and the 100 breaststroke (1:06.01).
Sarah Dorrheim, Andrea Frank, Grace Zottnick and Paige Keller turned in a winning time of 1:43.86 in the 200 freestyle relay and Century’s team of Duchsherer, Herrmann, Palmer and Rittenbach closed the meet out with a victory in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:36.01.
Minot, paced by 200 individual medley winner Rylie Webb, finished second in the team standings with 373 points. Williston finished third with 252.5. Dickinson (225.5) edged Mandan (225) for fourth.
Mandan’s Olivia Lacher won the diving event, compiling a score of 431.05.
Now the Patriots turn their attention fully to the state meet, which begins on Friday.
“We’ve got just a few more days of just fine-tuning and continuing to rest out bodies after a grueling 13 weeks that is paying off,” Aspaas said.
“They put in a lot of work, a lot of mornings, whether it was weight lifting, or whether it was yoga or other means of trying to condition your body and I think they’re pleased with the results and looking forward to next week.”