By Sarah Eckersley
MANDAN, North Dakota, November 17. JUNIOR Dagny Knutson led her team (Minot) to a state title in the North Dakota Girls High School State Championships. Minot scored 331 points, followed by West Fargo (287) and Century (250).
Minot opened the meet with a state record in the 200 medley relay. Maggi Beck, Katelyn Webster, Knutson, and Courtney Funk finished in 1:48.32, surpassing the 1996 record (Bismarck Century) by .30 seconds.
During preliminary competition of the North Dakota High School State Championships, Knutson shot down the national high school standard in the 200-yard free and crushed the national public school standard in the 500-yard free.
Knutson clocked a time of 1:42.81 in the 200-yard free to beat the public school standard of 1:45.14 set by Karlee Bispo of Thomas Downey H.S. in May of 2008. That time was also the overall high school record as Kate Ziegler's effort of 1:45.49 stands as the independent school standard while swimming for Bishop O'Connell in 2006.
Knutson then crushed Janet Evans' public school record in the 500-yard free with a time of 4:34.78. Evans' time of 4:37.30 while swimming for El Dorado H.S. in 1988 was the longest standing girls record in the high school book.
During finals, Knutson then posted a time of 48.33 as a leadoff of the 400 freestyle relay. That effort broke Kara Lynn Joyce's overall and public school record of 48.59 set while swimming for Ann Arbor Pioneer in 2002. The independent school record of 48.90 set by Christina Swindle of Gulliver Prep in 2002 remains on the books.
Beck was also a dual individual event winner. She was the first-place finisher in the 200 IM (2:08.18) and 100 backstroke (58.73).
Minot's McKenzie Rudolph took first-place honors in the diving competition with a score of 418.15.
Lexie Halberstadt (Shanley) won the 50 freestyle (24.66) and 100 butterfly (57.50).
Freshman Cassie Walth (Century) had an individual win the 100 freestyle (53.20). She joined teammates Sarah Weinberg, Lydia Engberg, and Kalee Kemmesat in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays for a winning time of 1:40.96 and 3:37.70, respectively.