Bemidji's Dylan Hoven is in the hunt for a pair of state championships as the senior will be the first seed in the 50 freestyle and the third seed in the 100 free during today's championship races at the state swimming meet.
During Friday's preliminaries, Hoven swam career bests in both races. His 21.23 time in the 50 free also was a Bemidji school record and bettered the previous standard of 21.32 which Hoven set last year in the state finals.
If Hoven is to win the 50 free today, however, BHS coach Woody Leindecker believes that he will have to swim even faster. Friday's runner-up, Cameron Hyde of Sartell, finished second in 21.41 but he was the last swimmer off the blocks.
"Hyde won't be in that position again on Saturday," Leindecker said. "He had a tough start but he still finished second."
Hyde had no trouble hearing the gun at the start of the 100 free as the junior coasted to the preliminary victory in 46.75. Hoven was third at 48.09 and in between was Mike Hurley of Fergus Falls who was clocked in 47.37.
"The times in the 50 and 100 are very fast and, honestly, anyone who is in the championship heat of eight could win on Saturday," Leindecker said. "The speed of the swimmers is that close."
The Lumberjacks just missed qualifying for the championship heat in the 200 free relay Friday as Nick Nyberg, Adam Falk, Nick Gubbels and Hoven finished ninth in 1:31.03. Fergus Falls claimed the final championship heat position as the Otters were eighth in 1:31.01.
"We missed the final heat by just a wink, only 0.02 seconds," Leindecker said. "Coming so close but not making it is a tough pill to swallow.
"We'll be able to pick up some team points by qualifying for the consolation heat but not as many as we would by being in the finals."
BHS also will swim in today's consolation heat of the 400 free relay as Nyberg, Falk, Hoven and Gubbels were 13th Friday in 3:23.73.
Leindecker plans on changing the swimming order in both relays today in an effort to improve the team's finish.
"There are many points out there for us to grab and I think the best way to get them will be to have Dylan lead off in the relays," Leindecker said. "The plan is to have Dylan take the early lead and then have the others try and protect it."
In Friday's other state preliminary action Falk was 11th and Nyberg 15th in the 200 free and Nyberg was 14th in the 500 free.
They will return to the University of Minnesota pool for today's consolation heat in those events.