Sports Spotlight: Johnny Mindt

MANDAN, N.D. - We're a little over a month away from the State Swimming and Diving Championships. The swimming part was won by the Century Patriots last year.

North Dakota's top diver last season is the subject of this week's Sports Spotlight.

While most of his teammates are trying to swim to victory, Johnny Mindt is diving right in. He was last year's state champion as a sophomore, and now that he's more experienced, his goals don't fall short of what they've always been.

"Yeah after I won, it was such a relief, like, so many people wanted me to win, and when I won, I was like, so much, I didn't know what to do, and then this year, everyone expects me to win again, and I hope I do it, but I'm not sure yet," said Mindt.

But, if he is sure of anything, it's that diving, is most definitely his sport.

"Yes, I did soccer. I did track, baseball and football. I used to wrestle, I quit that because I just find it more fun diving, just like flipping in the air, I've always found it more interesting," said Mindt.

And, interestingly enough, diving, runs in the Mindt family.

Mindt said: "My dad was a diver previously. He used to dive for Mandan. So, it's always been like that for family, my sister was one, too. And so, I started in seventh grade, and it's going to be my fifth year after this year."

Mandan swim coach Ralph Manly: "John Mindt's dad was my first state champion back in Mandan in 1986-1987. And his sister, Chantel is also a diver for us, and his sister Ashley is currently a diver for us."

"Johnny came in with just a lot of natural ability, a lot of natural awareness of the board and where he is in the air, and he's just been really easy to work with as we progress," said Claudia Schoellkoph, Mandan diving coach.

So, it's easy to say that Mindt was meant to be in the pool.

Were you ever scared?

"No, no not really. I mean when you smack, yeah you're going to feel a little frightful afterwards, scared, but other than that, no. My favorite dive would be 2 1/2 pike. That's my favorite. it's hard, but I just find it so fun spinning in the pike, and just, it get's me going," said Mindt.

While there are a few dives he hopes to master in his final year and a half at Mandan, there's one big thing on his to-do list this season to win the state title again.

"Just relax, let it flow like coach says. Relax, because if you don't relax, you get all of it in your head, and you're not going to compete your best, and you've just got to out out there," said Mindt.

And, he'll be there, in West Fargo for this year's state tournament.

The Braves next competition is Friday, Feb. 2 in Mandan.