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Swimmers take second in state, Dutt named top senior

West Fargo's Danica Dutt is congratulated by teammate Mykin Gunning after winning the 100 yard butterfly in the ND Girls Swimming and Diving championships at UND Saturday. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service

One of the best season’s in school history for the Packer girls swim team came to an end on Saturday, and the team was just shy of a state title.

The team took second place in the North Dakota state tournament with a score of 326 points, just 11 points behind state-champion Minot High.

“I could not be prouder of these girls,” head coach Sally Sautner said. “They completely exceeded my expectations. The seniors swam their hearts out.”

The Packers took first in two events, both of which featured senior Danica Dutt, who was named the state’s senior athlete of the year.

Dutt claimed the crown in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 56.20 seconds, a full second ahead of the competition.

She also took second in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:09.51.

“She has really shown the younger swimmers what it means to be an elite swimmer,” Sautner said. “I am really looking forward to seeing the juniors fill her shoes in the butterfly.”

Dutt was also part of the state champion 400 freestyle relay team that also included junior Brianna Faul and sophomores Mykin Gunning and Hallie Peterson. The relay team finished first with a time of 3:33.33, setting a new state record by .96 seconds.

The team also got a second-place finish from the 200 freestyle relay team (Peterson, Gunning, Fual and senior Julissa Johnson) with a time of 1:38.69, along with third-place finishes from Peterson in the 100 freestyle (with a time of 53.09) and the 200 medley relay team of Dutt, Johnson, Andie Peterson and Taylor Laufenberg (1:50.65).

We -- the coaches, parents and fans -- are all really proud,” Sautner said. “We have such a great group of girls. I’m really looking forward to seeing them repeat that level of sportsmanship next year.”

Dutt, Gunning, Hallie and Andie Peterson were named to the All-State first team. Johnson, Faul, and Emily Bourassa made the second team.