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Jacks cross country teams take aim at section meet

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State tournament berths are on the line today when the Bemidji cross country teams join their?Section 8AA peers at the section meet in Fergus Falls.

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Today's action begins at 3:30 p.m. and was originally scheduled for Thursday. This week's rain and wind, however, prompted meet officials to postpone the races until today.

Monticello seems to be the clear favorite in the girls division while Moorhead appears to be the team to beat in the boys competition.

But the section will send its top two girls and top two boys teams to state and BHS coach Ryan Aylesworth believes that the Lumberjacks have the potential to battle for that second spot in both races.

"Monticello is ranked second in the state and should win the girls race," Aylesworth said. "But Brainerd, Moorhead, Bemidji, Little Falls and Alexandria all have the ability to take that second spot. If our top three runners perform at their best and if our other runners have quality races, we have a chance for that runner-up team spot."

Bemidji's top three includes Kim Truedson, Bailey Drewes and Jenna Truedson. Also competing today will be Laura Edwards, Dani Gronhovd, Emma Brokl, Kayala Olson, Mikayla Connell and Rachael Becker.

Also qualifying for state will be the top 10 individual finishers and Aylesworth believes that Bemidji's top three runners could be in that group.

"Kim, Bailey and Jenna have legitimate shots at finishing in the top 10," the coach said. "They have been consistent all year and have shown that they could qualify for state."

In the boys division Moorhead should dominate but Bemidji, Alexandria and Monticello should be in the hunt for second place and its reward, a state meet appearance.

"We have a great chance of making it," Aylesworth said. "If all of the boys can run to their potential we have a great shot at beating Alexandria and Monticello."

Individually, Andy Berube is Bemidji's leading candidate for a top-10 finish and a state meet berth. Joining Berube at the starting line will be Alex Schoneberger, John Buckanaga, Dan Clemenson, Jake Urban, Sam Carlson, Ryan Erickson, Matt Glen and Thomas Revering.

The Bemidji swimmers and divers will be in action this weekend but will head in different directions.

The swimmers visit Grand Rapids tonight but the divers will take today off and travel to Buffalo on Saturday for a diving-only competition.

"Buffalo will give our divers the opportunity to do the full 11-dive routine that they will perform at the section meet Nov. 12-13," said BHS coach Woody Leindecker. "This will be only the third time this year that the divers have been able to do their entire routine. They did their 11 dives at Hibbing (Sept. 18) and at the True Team (Oct. 15)."

Today's meet at Grand Rapids will be the final tune-up for the swimmers. Next week Bemidji will begin its taper which involves a gradual decrease in training volume and intensity.

"The goal is to give the muscles a chance to rest so the muscles can rejuvenate and the swimmers can be at their peak for the section meet," Leindecker said.

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Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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