Century got off to a blazing start at the state swimming meet on Friday at West Fargo's Hulbert Aquatic Center.

The Patriots had 13 swimmers qualify for the 'A' final (top 8), while also posting the best time in six of the 12 events. Century is going for its sixth straight state championship.

Leading the way were Chris Birnbaum and Jayden Porter.

Birnbaum, a sophomore, had the best time in the 200 (1:45.69) and 500 freestyles (4:43.74).

Porter, a junior, will be in lane 1 in the 200 individual medley (2:00.51) and 100 breaststroke (58.78).

Senior Adam Nodland sprinted to the top time in the 50 free (21.16), while sophomore Trysten Ruhland's 52.9 finished first in the 100 butterfly, just ahead of Nodland (53.45).

On the diving board, Mandan's Johnny Mindt, the defending state champion, holds a 5.25-point advantage over Century's Josh Pikarski 212.60-207.35.

Charles Koebele of Century posted the second-fastest time in the 100 backstroke (55.09). Ruhland was third (55.63).

In all, Century advanced 16 swimmers to the finals. Minot, the Patriots' top challenger, sent 25. The finals and relays will be held on Saturday.

Mandan's Matheus Pimenta was third in the 200 IM (2:02.16). Joey Clark's 21.97 in the 50 was fourth-fastest. Clark, a senior for the Braves, was sixth in the 100 free.

Also, Mandan's David Hoffman touched fifth in the 50 (21.99). Teammate Thomas Reinhardt earned a spot in the 'A' final of the 100 breaststroke.

Eric Krug of Bismarck High clocked the fourth-best 100 free (48.61).