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Dani Luby helped the 400 free relay team finish fourth in Friday's Section 8A preliminary competition. The Jacks will return to the pool today for the section finals. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Bemidji swimmers fare well in section preliminaries

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The Bemidji swimming and diving team put itself into position to challenge for the Section 8A team championship by performing well during Friday's preliminaries at the BHS pool.

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"We didn't fare well in the individual medley or back stroke events but overall I thought we performed well," said coach Woody Leindecker.

The top eight event finishers Friday advanced to today's championship round and remain in contention for state tournament berths. The top two individual finishers and the two relays will earn trips to next weekend's state meet.

Among Bemidji's athletes still in contention for state are Steph Frey, Lexie Hendricks and Laura Yourd who went 1-5-8 in Friday's 200 free.

The 200 medley relay unit also is alive after placing seventh Friday.

A pair of divers also remain in the hunt as Jana Hedstrom enters today's final three dives in first place while Hailey Erickson is sixth.

In the 100 fly, Vanasse placed fifth and Erin Arndt eighth Friday while Maris Jahner was eighth in the 100 free and all three will be in today's championship final heat.

Hendricks will battle for a state berth in the 500 free after finishing second Friday as will the 200 free relay unit.

Other championship contenders after Friday's action include Frey and Dani Hoven in the 100 breast and the 400 free relay team.

"Friday was a good night for us but defending section champion Park Rapids also swam very well so we will have our hands full catching them," Leindecker said.

"But we are in position to qualify some swimmers and divers for state and if we perform at our best Saturday, we'll see how the team standings shake out."

Today's finals will begin at 1 p.m. at the BHS pool.

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Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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