It has been a tremendous fall for the Bemidji High School sports programs and this weekend the girls swimmers and divers hope to continue the trend of qualifying athletes and teams for state competition.
The Lumberjacks will head to Detroit Lakes Friday for the Section 8A preliminaries. On Saturday the athletes who finished in the top eight of their races will hit the water once again for the section finals.
The top two swimmers, the top two relays and the top four divers in Saturday's races will earn berths at the state meet.
"Our goal is to qualify as many people and as many relays to state as we can," said BHS coach Scott Leindecker. "Our second goal is to score as many points as we can and, hopefully, win the section.
"Park Rapids probably is the favorite but I think the race for first place will be close," Leindecker added. "You don't score any points until Saturday's finals but you have to get your ducks in a row in Friday's preliminaries to set the stage for Saturday."
Bemidji has athletes seeded in the top eight in all of the events. Steph Frey will lead the Lumberjacks as she is the top seed in the 200 individual medley and in the 100 free. Frey also will race in two of the three relays. BHS is seeded third in the 200 medley relay and is ranked first in the 200 free and 400 free relays.
Jana Hedstrom is among the favorites in diving as she is seeded second and Lexie Hendricks is the second seed in the 200 free. Hendricks also is seeded third in the 500 free.
Other Lumberjacks seeded in the top eight include Erin Arndt who is sixth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 fly, Alysa Wright who is eighth in the 200 free, Danielle Hoven who is sixth in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 breast stroke, Libby McRae who is eighth in the 100 fly, McKenzie Timms who is eighth in the 100 free and Jamie Vanasse who is seventh in the 500 free.