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Tom Mix, Published April 17 2014

West Fargo's Danica Dutt signs to swim at UND

WEST FARGO – Five months ago, West Fargo senior Danica Dutt wrapped up her high school swimming career at the North Dakota state meet in Grand Forks.

Next fall, Grand Forks will be the site where Dutt’s collegiate career begins.

Thursday, Dutt signed her national letter of intent to swim at the University of North Dakota.

“I really liked the fact that UND was close to home,” said Dutt, who plans to study elementary education. “When I visited there, the team was very welcoming. It helps that I know quite a few of the swimmers there. I feel that, right now, I’d be in the middle swimming-wise, so I’ll have swimmers to push me, and I could push other people, too.”

Dutt, the state’s senior athlete of the year, was also recruited by Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bowling Green (Ohio), and Grand Canyon University (Ariz.).

“It has always been something I thought about,” Dutt said of swimming at the Division I level. “I have been swimming for so long, so I thought I should continue on and swim in college.”

Dutt, who helped West Fargo to a second-place finish at the state swimming and diving meet last fall, is a four-time individual state champion in the 100-yard butterfly – an event she will swim at UND along with a sprint race.

Dutt also anchored the Packers’ state champion 400 freestyle relay last fall and finished second in the 200 individual medley.

“It has been exciting,” Dutt said. “Each year the team got so much closer and this past year, getting second place (as a team), was super awesome. Having our relay team win was also really exciting for all of us.”

WF’s Sammie Smith to play tennis at MSUM

West Fargo senior Sammie Smith has signed a national letter of intent to play tennis at Minnesota State Moorhead next fall.

Smith, a four-time all-state and five-time All-Eastern Dakota Conference selection, helped the Packers to a second-place finish at the 2013 state tournament last spring.

“It’s really a sign of the direction that MSUM tennis is heading in for us to be signing players of Sammie’s caliber,” MSUM head coach Oliver Summers said in a release. “I’m really excited that Sammie has chosen to be a Dragon. She’s one of the hardest-working, driven athletes I know and is always striving to get better. Her high school accomplishments speak for themselves.”

Smith joins Morgan De Meyer of Bend, Ore., as athletes who have signed with MSUM women’s tennis for the 2014-15 season.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562