BEMIDJI – Neighborhood rivalries in high school athletics are healthy and usually bring out the best of both combatants.
In area girls swimming and diving, Bemidji and Park Rapids have developed such a relationship and in recent years both teams can lay claim to section championships.
A year ago the Panthers defeated BHS in dual action but the Lumberjacks returned the favor when it counted by claiming the section crown.
On Tuesday the teams renewed acquaintances at the Bemidji pool and the Jacks delivered the season’s initial blow, using their depth and talent to post a 104-82 victory.
The win was Bemidji’s fifth in as many dual outings and, once again, the Lumberjacks demonstrated that they are among the favorites to win the section crown in 2012.
“In terms of the teams we dual against, we never know what will happen when we face Park Rapids,” BHS assistant coach Kristen McRae said. “Park Rapids always gives us a stiff challenge when we meet head-to-head. But we’ve also learned not to get too comfortable looking at dual results because things can easily turn around at sections.”
Bemidji set the stage early as the 200 yard medley relay unit of Erin Arndt, Danielle Hoven, Libby McRae and Steph Frey provided the first of nine event victories in a time of 1:58.31.
Also claiming event wins were Erin Arndt in the 200 individual medley(2:26.90), Kylei Grosfield in diving (210.50), McRae in the 100 fly (1:05.45), Frey in the 100 free (55.03) and 100 back (1:03.54), Lexie Hendricks in the 500 free (5:43.75), the 200 free relay team of Hoven, Morgan Williams, Maris Jahner and Frey plus Hoven in the 100 breast stroke (1:;15.35).
“Steph’s time in the backstroke was her personal record,” McRae said. “And MacKenzie Ritchie had her personal best times in the 200 free (2:16.52) where she was fourth and in the 500 free (6:11.92) where she was third. She definitely is coming around.”
Bemidji has one more month to prepare for its section title defense and that isn’t much time.
“We have 18 practices before we begin our rest. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” McRae said. “Every practice from now on counts and every set of work counts. Mid-August seems like ages ago but the end of the regular season is in sight.”
Bemidji returns to action Oct. 2 when it heads to Grand Forks Central. The next home appearance will be Oct. 9 against Detroit Lakes.
Bemidji 104, Park Rapids 82
200 medley relay: 1-Bemidji (Arndt, Hoven, McRae, Frey) 1:58.31. Other Bemidji: 4-Bemidji (Knutson, L.Hendricks, Krause, J.Hendricks) 2:09.0
200 free: 1-Creager (PR) 2:07.69. Bemidji’s results: 2-L.Hendricks 2:10.59; 3-Williams 2:13.80; 4-Ritchie 2:16.52
20 0IM: 1-Arndt (B) 2:26.90. Other Bemidji: 4-Hoven 2:31.34; 6-Hewitt 2:37.82
50 free: 1-Rossman (PR) 27.06. Bemidji’s results: 2-Jahner 27.27; 3-Knutson 28.10; 4-Krause 28.12
Diving: 1-Grosfield (B) 210.50. Other Bemidji: 4-Hennum 136.80; 5-Sycks 136.05
100 fly: 1-McRae 1:05.45. Other Bemidji: 2-Arndt 1:06.07
100 free: 1-Frey (B) 55.03. Other Bemidji: 3-Williams 1:00.12; 6-J.Hendricks 1:03.73
500 free: 1-L.Hendricks (B) 5:43.75. Other Bemidji: 3-Ritchie 6:11.92
200 free relay: 1-Bemidji (Hoven, Williams, Jahner, Frey) 1:46. 41. Other Bemidji: 4-Bemidji (Knutson, Krause, Ritchie, J.Hendricks) 1:54.60
100 back: 1-Frey (B) 1:03.54. Other Bemidji: 3-McRae 1:10.88; 4-Hewitt 1:11.72
100 breast stroke: 1-Hoven (B) 1:15.35. Other Bemidji: 4-Jahner 1:19.34
400 free relay: 1-Park Rapids 3:58.22. Bemidji’s results: 2-Bemidji (Williams, Arndt, L.Hendricks, Jahner) 4:01.00; 3-Bemidji (McRae, J.Hendricks, Ritchie, Krause) 4:09.43