Lexi Duchsherer, Tierney Howell Set Records as Bismarck Century Gets No. 6 at North Dakota State Meet

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Photo Courtesy: Arizona Swimming and Diving Instagram

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The 2020 North Dakota Girls State Swimming & Diving Championships took place on Nov. 15 at the Bismarck State College Aquatics and Wellness Center in Bismarck, N.D.

A trio of state records highlighted the meet:

  • Bismarck Century’s Alexis “Lexi” Duchsherer – 50 free (22.54)
  • West Fargo Sheyenne’s Tierney Howell – 100 fly (55.44)
  • Bismarck Century’s 4×100 free relay – 3:29.58

For the sixth-straight year, the Bismarck Century Patriots used their impressive depth to clinch the championship crown with a final score of 413 ahead of West Fargo Sheyenne (349) and Minot (214.5).

Click HERE for full results and team scores.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Bismarck Century – 413
2. West Fargo Sheyenne – 349
3. Minot – 214.5
4. West Fargo – 185
5. Williston – 162

The meet began as Bismarck Century’s McKenna Matt (27.90), Paige Keller (30.88), Erin Palmer (24.85) and Duchsherer (22.32) won the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:45.95, nearly three seconds ahead of runner-up West Fargo Sheyenne’s 1:48.26. Keller (25.04), Taylor Cook (25.68), Lauryn Caster (25.13), and Dorrheim (23.54) also teamed up to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:39.39.

Palmer was soon back in the water to dominate the 200 IM, winning with a time of 2:05.89 that was five seconds ahead of defending champion Melissa Branham (2:10.95) of Williston. After grabbing silver in the 100 breast a year ago, Palmer earned herself the gold after getting her hands to the wall in 1:02.95. Her time was just shy of 1:02.75 state mark.

Bismarck Century’s Sarah Dorrheim cruised to first in the 200 free, clocking in at 1:53.49 to post a three-second victory as runner-up Greta Bellas (1:56.26) of West Fargo Sheyenne placed second for the second year in a row. Bellas then redeemed herself by clinching a win in the 500 free, using consistent splits throughout the race to win with a time of 5:13.21.

Duchsherer’s record-setting performance of the day came in the 50 free. The Arizona commit blasted a time of 22.54 to break her own state record of 22.91 she set at this meet in 2019. She then successfully defended her state title in the 100 free, sprinting to the wall in 50.26 for another gold medal.

After finishing second on the 1-meter board last season, Fargo Davies’s Madison Hischer dove to first this year after posting a final score of 479.95. West Fargo Sheyenne’s Liv Hettinger powered home to the top spot in the 100 back for the second-consecutive year after stopping the clock in 57.18 as the first of only two swimmers to dip under the minute-marker.

Howell flew to the top spot in the 100 fly, getting to the wall in a quick 55.44 to best the field by over four seconds. The sophomore’s time eclipsed Dagny Knutson’s state record of 55.60 set back in 2006 and marked the first state title of her career.

Bismarck Century made it a relay sweep as Duchsherer (50.98), Olivia Schuchard (54.62), Dorrheim (51.77), and Palmer (52.21) concluded the meet as 4×100 free relay champions with a combined time of 3:29.58. Their time crushed Fargo North’s state record of 3:31.81 set in 2014.

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