Jamestown High School girls swimming and diving coach Ben Smith is excited for the future.
The Blue Jays have 15 athletes competing in the state meet starting today at the Bismarck Aquatic and Wellness Center, bringing a season of solid growth to a close.
"We're looking forward to capping off a great season," Smith said. "We had the largest team in the WDA, and our middle school athletes really came on board and contributed to the program.
"This year we had four seventh-graders qualify (for state), which is the biggest seventh-grade class in the history of our program."
Seventh-graders earning a trip to Bismarck this weekend are all-West Region performer Chea Baugh (200 IM, 500 free) and divers Emma Hillerud, Anabelle Cramer and Brenna Hatch.
Baugh is also joining freshman Jordyn Mewes, sophomore Calli Lynch and senior Courtnay Kiecker on the Jays' state-qualifying 400 freestyle relay team (4:05.44), and freshman Tyler Alonge, sophomore Kenzie Carlson and Kiecker on the 200 freestyle relay team (1:47.37).
Kiecker is also qualified in the 50 free and the 100 backstroke. Alonge and Carlson are each qualified individually in the 50 free and the 100 free.
The Jays' 200 medley relay team (2:03.63) of senior Noelle Thompson (backstroke), Alonge (breaststroke), senior Anna Magyar (butterfly) and Carlson (freestyle) will also be in the water. Thompson is qualified in the 100 backstroke, Mewes in the 100 free, Magyar in the 100 butterfly, and Lynch and senior Sydney Soulis in the 50 free.
Jamestown qualified six divers for state, but only four can compete per rule. The Jays can also only swim four of its five 50 free qualifiers.
"The future of JHS swimming and diving looks bright," Smith said. "Our strongest event would be diving. Our highest individual ranked is Kenzie Carlson, who is ranked 16th in the 50 freestyle (26.34) going into prelims."
Jamestown divers qualifying for state, along with the trio of freshmen, are juniors Nadia Netolicky and Cat Rapp, and senior Alexis Triebenbach.
The Blue Jays finished seventh at the West Region meet last weekend in Bismarck. Triebenbach led the Jays in diving with a seventh-place finish (313.60).
"We can't control what any of the other teams do, so we are focusing on ending our season on a positive note," Smith said. "Thinking about our event strategies and shooting towards PR times and scores."