The Bemidji High School swim team closed its regular season on a strong note Friday, taking second place at the Grand Rapids Big Five meet.
Buffalo retained its title once again with 608 points to 540 for Bemidji. Duluth East was third, another 42 points back with Grand Rapids and Hibbing trailing.
Last year, Bemidji moved up from fifth to third at this meet but was 130 points behind the Bison.
This year it climbed another spot and trailed by only 68.
Bemidji held its own with Buffalo the whole day earning its share of titles.
In the long run, Buffalo had more output from its third and fourth place finishers than did Bemidji.
But Bemidji showed its best depth of the season, placing all four of its free relays in the 200 and 400 and three of its four medley teams.
And it placed at least three contestants in all of the nine individual events and four in most of them.
The meet was the last before the team taper opens tomorrow for the Section 8A meet at Warroad Nov. 13-14. It hopes to dethrone Fergus Falls in that meet in its first venture into the Class A ranks. The Otters have ruled the meet for a decade.
Bemidji got off to a slow start, managing only 26 points in the medley relay.
Buffalo had 80 placing 1-4-14-15.
But Bemidji rolled in the 200 free won by Selina Gilbertson with Katie Verchota fourth, Laura Yourd seventh and Lexie Hendricks 11 for 53 points.
Stephanie Frey won the IM by a half second with Alicia Papke-Larson fourth, Maris Jahner 12 and Ashlin Hasson 16 for 41 points.
Bemidji fell back in the 50 free on a 10-11-16 finish with Emily Punyko of East winning.
The diving corps did its usual fine job with Jana Hedstrom winning with 193.4 points, Tayler Heinle fourth, Brittany Maxwell fifth and Jade Hovet 11th for 55 points.
Emily Devore led a 1-2 Buffalo finish in the fly where Jamie Vanasse was Bemidji's best in 11th with an 11-13-16 finish producing only 11 points.,
Gilbertson became a double winner in the 100 free where Luby was seventh, Yourd eighth Kristen Sharpe ninth for 52 points.
Elizabeth Reed of East took the 500 free over Verchota by three seconds. Hendrickson was fourth, Bethany Scholl sixth and Jordyn Olson ninth for a 54-point event.
Buffalo won the 200 free relay by a second over Bemidji with Frey, Jahner, Gilbertson and Verchota with Bemidji's other three teams taking 7-11-13 for 78 points. Buffalo had only 80 with its fourth team not placing.
The Bison went 1-2 in the backstroke where Bemidji continued to have problems, finishing 4-6-15 led by Hasson and Luby.
East's Punyko joined Gilbertson as a double winner by taking the breaststroke by six seconds over Frey with Papke-Larson sixth, McKenzie Timms ninth and Tayler McLean 13th for 43 points.
Buffalo completed its sweep of the three relays, taking the 400 by less than a second over Frey, Verchota, Gilbertson and Luby.
Bemidji also finished 7-9-13 for a meet high 84 points.
"We're all back in the pool and regaining our strength," said Coach Woody Leindecker. "We're ready to challenge Fergus and feel we have a good chance."
BIG FIVE MEEET
Team totals; Buffalo 608, Bemidji 540, Duluth East 198.5, Grand Rapids 340.5, Hibbing 339
200 medley relay (2:00.01) 1. Buf (Bordak-Jude-Pallesen-Devore); 2. Hib; 3. DE; 4. Buf-B; 5. DE-B; 11. Bem-B (Luby-Timms-Jahner-Krause); 12. Bem-A (Hasson-Papke-Larson-Vanasse-Sharpe); 16. Bem-C
200 f.s. (2:04.69) 1. Gilbertson, Bem; 2. Viren, GR; 3. E. Reed, DE; 4. Verchota, Bem; 5.Muntifering, Buf; 7. Yourd, Bem; 11.Hendricks, Bem.
200 IM (2:24.59) 2. Frey, Bem; 3. Devore, Buf; 3. L. Reed. DE; 4. Papke-Larson, Bem; 5. Rudberg, Hib; 12. Jahner, Bem; 16. Hasson, Bem.
50 f.s. (25.38) 1. Punyko, DE; 2. Hale, Buf; 3. Skelly, Buf; 4. Vargason, DE; 5. Finco, Hib; 10. Sharpe, Bem; 11. Heinle, Bem;16. Krause, Bem,
Diving (198.30) 1. Hedstrom, Bem; 2. Brings, Buf; 3. Haggerty, Buf; 4. Heinle, Bem; 5. Maxwell, Bem; 11. Hovet. Bem.
100 fly (1:05.36) 1. Devore, Buf; 2. Pallesen, Buf; 3. L. Reed, DE; 4. Herzfeld, Buf; 5. Dye, Hib; 11. Vanasse, Bem; 13 Jahner, Bem.
100 f.s. (57.34) 1. Gilbertson, Bem; 2. Skelly, Buf; 3. Mattson, Buf; 4. Walker, GR; 5. Vargason, DE; 7. Luby, Bem;. 8. Yourd, Bem;. 8. Sharpe, Bem.
500 f.s. (5:40.94) 1. E. Reed, DE; 2. Verchota, Bem; 3. Skelly, Buf; 4. Hendricks, Bem; 5. Strom, Hib; 6. Scholl, Bem; 9. Olson, Bem.
200 f.s. relay (1:44.94) 1. Buf (Skelly-Hale-Bordak-Devore); 2. Bem (Frey-Jahner-Gilbertson-Verchota); 3. Hib; 4. DE; 5. GR; 7. Bem-B; 11. Bem-D; 12. Bem-C
100 back (1:07.25) 1. Bordak, Buf; 2. Lahr, Buf; 3. Gatlin, DE; 4. Hasson, Bem; 5. Kaminski, Buf; 6. Luby, Bem; 15. Lawrence, Bem.
100 breast (1:09.71) 1 Punyko, DE; 2. Frey, Bem; 3. Madden, DE; 4. Hale, Buf; 5. Yoki, Hib; 6. Papke-Larson; Bem; 9, Timms Bem; 13. McLean, Bem.
400 f.s. relay (3:53.14) 1. Buf (Skelly-Hale-Jude-Mattson); 2. Bem (Frey-Verchota-Gilbertson-Luby) 3. DE. 4. Buf-B; 5. Hib; 7. Bem-B (Sharpe-Lawrence-Papke-Larson-Sharpe); 8. Bem-C; 13. Bem-D