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Erin Arndt was all smiles after winning the 100 yard butterfly during Saturday's Section 8A swimming and diving meet in Detroit Lakes. Pioneer Photo/Brian Basham, DL Newspapers

Bemidji HIgh School swimmers, divers race to Section 8A title

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The Bemidji girls swimming and diving team provided additional hardware to the school's trophy case as the Lumberjacks captured the Section 8A championship on Saturday in Detroit Lakes.

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The Lumberjacks join the girls soccer, volleyball and football teams as section team champions this fall.

Bemidji had enough reserve in the tank to withstand a late Park Rapids push and claimed the title with 426.5 points. The Panthers finished a close second with 400. Completing the top five were Perham with 329, Fergus Falls with 274.5 and Detroit Lakes with 203.

Of equal importance to the team championship, BHS advanced five individuals and two relays to the state meet which begins Thursday at the University of Minnesota pool.

Individually, Steph Frey will represent Bemidji in the 200 individual medley and the 100 free, Lexie Hendricks advanced in the 200 free and 500 free, Erin Arndt made it to state in the 100 fly and Jana Hedstrom and Kylei Grosfield will compete in diving.

Also advancing to the state meet was the 200 free relay unit of Kenzie Timms, Arndt, Danielle Hoven and Frey plus the 400 free relay squad of Arndt, Timms, Frey and Hoven.

Frey was also named the Section 8A Swimmer of the Year.

The top two swimmers and relay teams earned berths at state as did the top four divers.

"It was an exhausting day but it was a great day," Jacks coach Woody Leindecker said. "Everybody did what they needed to do during Friday's preliminaries to set us up for Saturday's finals. And on Saturday the girls came through again."

Hendricks set the tone Saturday when she qualified for state by placing second in the 200 free with a time of 2:04.72. Hendricks began the race as the fourth seed but overtook two higher rated rivals on way to the runner-up spot.

Frey followed with her customary domination in the 200 IM, winning the race in 2:13.95. Arndt just missed advancing to state as she finished third.

Hoven was third and McKenzie Timms fifth in the 50 free and the Lumberjacks went 2-3 in diving as Hedstrom earned 340.35 points and Grosfield 329.60.

Both qualified for state as did Arndt in the 100 fly after she won the event in 1:03.74. Libby McRae placed fifth in the race.

Frey collected her second event title in the 100 free (54.66) while Timms was fourth.

A key race on way to the team championship was the 500 free as Hendricks gained state via her second-place finish and Alysa Wright, Jamie Vanasse and Jordyn Olson went 6-7-8.

"All four of our entrants scored and gave us some very important points," Leindecker said.

BHS continued to widen its lead in the 200 free relay as Timms, Arndt, Hoven and Frey teamed for the victory with a school record, section record and pool record time of 1:42.33. The pereformance broke the previous Bemidji record which was set in 2009 by Katie Verchota, Selina Gilbertson, Maris Jahner and Frey.

Hoven was fourth in the 100 breast and she teamed with Arndt, Timms and Frey for a runner-up finish in the 400 free relay. The points collected by that showing iced the team championship.

"We had a great two days," Leindecker said. "I knew we had a chance to win the section if everybody swam well and if the timing was right.

"Park Rapids defeated us in the True Team meet and in a dual this season but we didn't care," the coach continued. "Our focus all along was to catch them at the section meet and we did it."

Bemidji 426.5, Park Rapids 400, Perham 329, Fergus Falls 274.5, Detroit Lakes 203, Warroad 166, Staples-Motley 128, Crookston 119, Thief River Falls 90, Fosston-Bagley 63

200 free relay: 1-Park Rapids 1:53.85. Bemidji's results: 7-Bemidji (Hewitt, Hendricks, Vanasse, Jahner) 2:05.62

200 free: 1-Creager (PR) 2:04.22. Bemidji's results: 2-Hendricks* 2:04.72; 87-Wright 2:14.39; 12-Johnson 2:17.57

200 IM: 1-Frey* (Bem) 2:13.95. Other Bemidji: 3-Arndt 2:21.28; 12-McRae 2:33.82

50 free: 1-Beachy (S-M) 25.56. Bemidji's results: 3-Hoven 26.12; 5-Timms 26.52; 10-Jahner 27.08; 12-Krause 27.24

Diving: 1-Foster (DL) 347.05. Bemidji's results: 2-Hedstrom* 340.35; 3-Grosfield* 329.60; 10-Erickson 262.08

100 fly: 1-Arndt* (Bem) 1:03.74. Other Bemidji: 5-McRae 1:07.21; 7-Vanasse 1:08.95; 14-Krause 1:13.27

100 free: 1-Frey* (Bem) 54.66. Other Bemidji: 4-Timms 56.82; 8-Jahner 58.97

500 free: 1-Erickson (PR) 5:24.85. Bemidji's results: 2-Hendricks* 5:31.44; 6-Wright 5:53.93; 7-Vanasse 5:53.98; 8-Olson 5:56.33

200 free relay: 1-Bemidji* (Timms, Arndt, Hoven, Frey) 1:42.33. Note: The time was a section, pool and BHS record. Previous BHS record was set in 2009 by Katie Verchota, Selina Gilbertson, Maris Jahner and Frey.

100 back: 1-Fisher (FF) 1:01.30. Bemidji's results: 9-Hewitt 1:10.53

100 breast stroke: 1-Schirmers (PR) 1:08.10. Bemidji's result: 4-Hoven 1:13.07

400 free relay: 1-Park Rapids 3:42.96. Bemidji's result: 2-Bemidji* (Arndt, Timms, Frey, Hoven) 3:46.30

*-Qualified for state meet

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Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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