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Bemidji HS girls swimming third at Invite

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The Bemidji High swim team held its place but improved its points at its 23rd annual Invitational Saturday.

Bemidji was third last year with 268 points.

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It was third again this year with 311.

Grand Forks Central and Red River, which until recent years combined for swimming, continued their late improvement by taking first and second.

Red River won with 354 to 332 for the Knights. Bemidji was a close third with Willmar and Warroad rounding out the top five.

Twelve of the 14 teams invited took part with International Falls and Baudette missing.

Only two records fell, those in the first and last events.

Red River lowered the medley relay mark to 1:55.59, three seconds under the old mark set by Fergus Falls.

Not to be outdone, Central snapped the 400 free relay mark, lowering it to 3:46.52 breaking Hutchinson's old mark by more than five seconds.

Bemidji's improvement came on better depth as the home team picked up a steady stream of points on lower place finishes.

It had several among the upper echelon, topped by the 200 free relay team of Steph Frey, Maris Jahner, Selina Gilbertson and Katie Verchota which won in 1:46.63.

That was the lone Bemidji win of the day.

Danielle Luby, Frey, Jamie Vanasse and Jahner were fourth in the medley. Gilbertson was fourth and Verchota sixth in the 200 free. Jana Hedstrom was third, Tayler Heinle sixth and newcomer Brittanie Maxwell eighth in diving. Maxwell is a senior transfer from California.

Frey took eighth in the fly, Gilbertson was third and Luby eighth in the 100 free while Verchota was seventh in the 500.

Luby took ninth in the backstroke while Frey was third and Alicia Papke-Larson sixth in the breaststroke.

The 400 relay of Verchota, Laura Yourd, Luby and Gilbertson finished third.

Mirna Kojic of Red River won the 50 and fly and swam the final leg on the medley relay.

Ali Church of Central won the 200 and 500 and anchored the winning 400 relay team.

The swimmers are back in the pool Tuesday hosting Grand Rapids and Perham in a double dual at 5.

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Pioneer staff reports
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