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Keidel dominant in diving prelims

Bismarck's Megan Keidel couldn't pick one of her dives that stood out Friday. But Keidel's consistency on the first day of the North Dakota state swimming and diving meet has the senior out to a commanding lead for a 1-meter diving state title at...

Bismarck's Megan Keidel couldn't pick one of her dives that stood out Friday.

But Keidel's consistency on the first day of the North Dakota state swimming and diving meet has the senior out to a commanding lead for a 1-meter diving state title at the University of North Dakota's Hyslop Pool.

Keidel finished with a score of 183.65 to lead all divers by almost 20 points. Keidel is followed by Minot's Allison Tracy at 163.95 and Fargo South's Ashley Elsbernd at 159.90.

"(Keidel) did real well," Bismarck diving coach Emily Vasey. "She had five strong dives. Typically, Friday is the toughest for divers. ... So for her to be that far ahead is great."

Keidel, who is undefeated in invitational meets this season, entered as the top-seeded diver.

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"I was real consistent on my dives," Keidel said. "That was the best part."

She finished fourth at state as a freshman and sophomore, then took second last season.

Five dives were completed Friday. The divers have their final six dives today.

"I have a tough dive (scheduled) in the semis," Keidel said. "It has a high degree of difficulty. I'm excited."

A fast first day at Hyslop for swimmers

In the swimming preliminaries, Grand Forks Central's Hannah Whitehead, Minot's Dagny Knutson and Fargo Shanley's Lexie Halberstadt each earned top seeds in two events.

Whitehead had the top times in the 200 and 500 freestyles, Knutson the top times in the 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley and Halberstadt the top times in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

"The whole meet was fast," Grand Forks coach Bryan Walls said. "Swimmers who were getting eighth a few years ago might have taken third."

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Minot, which has won four straight state team titles, has the top seed in all three relays.

"I'm real excited for our relays," Minot coach Dan Hinton said. "Relays are always a big thing for Minot. But the East had some really good relay times."

Minot also received top preliminary finishes from Maggi Beck in the 100 backstroke and Amber Alexander in the 100 breaststroke.

Knutson's time of 1:58.83 in the 200 individual medley would have broken her own state record of a year ago by more than four seconds.

The sophomore's time of 48.82 seconds in the 100 freestyle would easily be a state record.

"Those were both career-best times," Hinton said. "It's exciting, especially considering how fast she was already swimming."

Walls pleased with Grand Forks times

Walls said that all but one Grand Forks time was a season best.

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Grand Forks especially shined in the 200 and 500 freestyles. Whitehead had the top times in both events, while Central's Ali Church and Grand Forks Red River's Brittany Schmidt are among the top eight seeds in each event.

Schmidt is the fourth seed in the 500 freestyle and seventh seed in the 200 freestyle to pace the Roughriders.

"For some of the struggles Brittany's had this season, she swam really well," Walls said.

The meet continues at 2 p.m. today.

"We talked to the girls that the meet really starts tomorrow," Walls said. "We need to bring more energy and hope for more times to drop."

The Grand Forks Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co. Keidel dominant in diving prelims By Tom Miller 20071110

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