Lexi Duchsherer’s State Record Guides Bismarck Century to Fifth-Straight North Dakota Girls State Title

Lexi Duchsherer
Photo Courtesy: Tom Stromme, The Bismarck Tribune

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The 2019 North Dakota Girls State Swimming & Diving Championships took place on Nov. 16 at the Bismarck State College Aquatics and Wellness Center in Bismarck, N.D.

Bismarck Century’s Alexis “Lexi” Duchsherer broke her own 50 free state record twice, eclipsing her own mark during prelims and lowering it once again during finals in a quick 22.91. The junior also won the 100 free (50.36) and anchored the winning 4×100 free relay to guide the Patriots to their fifth-straight championship crown.

Click HERE for full results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Bismarck Century – 355.5
2. West Fargo Sheyenne – 329
3. Fargo Davies – 292.5
4. West Fargo – 177
5. Minot – 155

The meet began as West Fargo’s Liv Hettinger (26.89), Hannah Potter (30.80), Tatum Brooks (25.56), and Alexis Doeling (25.26) combined to win the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:48.51 ahead of runner-up West Fargo Sheyenne who finished in 1:49.13.

After placing third in the 100 back a year ago, Hettinger powered home to the top spot this season after stopping the clock in 56.93 as the first of four swimmers to dip under the minute-marker. Freshman Madeline Elseth of Grand Forks Central earned the gold medal in the 500 free, using consistent splits to finish in 5:15.62 ahead of fellow rookie McKayla Donat (5:16.18) of Legacy.

Grand Forks Red River sophomore Elsa Musselman powered home to a win in the 200 free in 1:53.12 for the second-consecutive year, narrowly edging out runner-up Greta Bellas (1:53.50) of West Fargo Sheyenne. Musselman then went on to lead the charge in the 100 fly, finishing in 57.57 as the first of only four swimmers in the field under the 60-second mark.

Williston’s Melissa Branham cruised to first in the 200 IM, stopping the clock in 2:09.34 to secure a two-second victory over Century’s Erin Palmer who took second in 2:11.07. The sophomore then finished first and second, respectively, in the 100 breast as Branham clocked in at 1:05.59 ahead of Palmer (1:05.64).

Duchsherer successfully defended her 50 free state title in record-setting fashion. After breaking her own state record of 23.31 during prelims in 23.07, she lowered it yet again during finals with a blazing-fast 22.91, nearly a full second ahead of the field. The junior then won the 100 free for the second-straight year, winning by 2.5 seconds in a swift 50.36.

It was a tight race in the 4×50 free relay as Fargo Davies’ Gracie Lingle (24.46), Vivianne Soforenko (24.81), Regan Wical (24.85), and Liddy Ohe (24.33) won in 1:38.45 to edge out Century (1:38.60). It was a 1-2 punch for Fargo Davies on the 1-meter board as Mya Winjum dove to the top spot with a total score of 412.20 followed closely by teammate Madison Hischer who took second with 408.10 points.

Century secured their fifth-straight team title as Olivia Schuchard (55.41), Sarah Dorrheim (53.16), Palmer (53.00), and Duchsherer (50.65) posted a convincing win in the 4×100 free relay to conclude the meet, finishing in 3:32.22 ahead of West Fargo Sheyenne who took second in 3:36.24.