MANDAN, North Dakota, March 13. IN one of the most exciting team races in the nation so far this high school season, the top four teams at the North Dakota State Boys Swimming and Diving Championships finished within four points of one another. West Fargo and Fargo North tied for first with 286 points each, with Minot in third (284) and Century fourth (282). Bismarck took fifth with 221. The meet was held March 2-3 in Mandan.
Three state records fell during the meet. Dylan Sether, a junior at Century, set the 200 yard free record in prelims with a 1:43.71. He nearly bettered that in finals with his 1:43.75. He claimed a second win in the exciting 100 fly finals, posting a 51.86 to Bismarck senior Ian Ballantyne's 51.93. Ballantyne managed to set a state record in prelims with a 51.25.
The final individual state standard fell to Obi Obembe, a Fargo North senior, in the 100 back (51.96). He also triumphed in the 200 IM, posting a 1:57.06.
Bismarck junior Austin Schmidt led off Bismarck's record-setting 200 medley relay (1:38.04) with seniors Ballantyne, Thomas Stromme and Josh Riepl. They also captured the 200 free relay in 1:28.56. Fargo North's team of seniors Matt Wenzel, Sean Rider, sophomore Tanner Bjorlie and Obembe combined for the 400 free relay win (3:16.76).
Ballantyne missed a state record in the 100 breast prelims by 4-hundredths in 58.06. His 58.55 in finals enabled him to win over Fargo South senior Tanner Olson (58.64). Ballantyne's teammate, Riepl, came in first in the 50 free (21.45).
Williston senior Ben Bolinske topped the field of the 100 free (47.76), and Minot junior Owen Kusick was the 500 free champion (4:49.13). The diving event was won by Mandan's Jordan Barth (483.05 points).