Minot swims past Williston

Considering the Williston swim team’s meager numbers, Minot’s 136-49 trouncing of the Coyotes didn’t take any of the 300 fans at Magic City Campus aback.

Minot – a progam with four times the amount of participants as its West Region foe – was surprised in one paricular pursuit on Monday night, though.

Zdenek Skalicky, typically a short-distance swimmer, was thrown into the 500-yard freestyle – an event he hadn’t tried since junior high.

The senior went on to post the best time in the event (five minutes, 42 seconds) and won his heat in convincing fashion.

“I guess I just shocked myself,” said Skalicky, a state-qualifier in the 200 individual medley and 100 fly. “I was just hoping to go faster than my projected seed time, but I didn’t think I’d go that fast.”

And the win didn’t even count in Minot’s dual score.

To paint a picture of the out-of-nowhere effort, Skalicky wasn’t registered as a varsity swimmer in that particular event. Despite posting the best time, it didn’t count in the team score.

Not that it mattered to Minot coach Jake Solper.

“He’s really not a distance swimmer,” Solper said. “He was out of his element, but he really had a smart race.”

Minot had winners in 10 of the dual’s 12 events, but Williston got the most out of its lettermen.

Ryan Hellen won the 200 individual medley (2:17.30) and Austin Semenko triumped for the Coyotes in the 500 freestyle (6:49.90).

“The final (team) scores don’t always reflect the competition in the pool,” Solper said. “(Williston) brought some good swimmers.”

Minot’s Ethan Bahl was the lone two-event winner on the evening, taking first in the 100-yard breastroke (1:02.56) and 50-yard freestyle.

Bahl (22.75) edged teammate Luke Heilman (23.06) to win the 50.

Heilman (100 freestyle), Jeremy Fix (diving), Nich Buch (100-yard butterfly), Gerald Brown (100-yard backstroke) and Jared Kramer (200-yard freestyle) accounted for the rest of the Magicians’ wins. Minot won all of its realys.

“It was real exciting to finally have a home meet,” Solper said. “There was a great turnout. It’s great when two teams have such a great support group.”

Minot welcomes Grand Forks in a dual at Magic City Campus on Friday.