BEMIDJI – Section championships are not won and state tournament appearances are not secured in September. It’s never too early, however, to expand the lineup options with an eye toward those long-range goals.
“Dominating dual meets is great but we are looking at the end result,” said Bemidji assistant girls swimming coach Kristen McRae. “The girls know that they are training for a purpose. They get what we as coaches are trying to do.”
Monday during a double-dual with Perham and Grand Rapids McRae and head coach Woody Leindecker experimented with the lineup, putting different swimmers in different events.
In the past juggling the roster sometimes cost the Lumberjacks a victory. Monday, however, it didn’t make a difference as BHS downed Grand Rapids 179-136 and blitzed Perham 214-91.
“We had everybody swimming all over the place and we split up all of our relays,” Leindecker said. “But Monday night really showed our versatility.
“As coaches we have many options with the lineup. We can do just about anything we want. Kristen and I have so many combinations that we can use that it is fun to figure out a lineup.”
The experimentation began in the initial race when the coaches juggled the roster to form a pair of 200 medley relay teams. Bemidji went 1-2 in the event and claiming the win in 2:02.31 was the foursome of Maddie Knutson, Steph Frey, Jamie Vanasse and Katie Krause.
Right on their heels were teammates Kayla Hewitt, Danielle Hoven, Libby McRae and Maris Jahner who combined for a 2:03.08.
“Not that many years ago our top relay team would have gone 2:03 and our second team would go 2:13,” Leindecker said. “Having two teams go this fast shows our versatility and the strength of our team.”
BHS also went 1-2 in the 200 free as Lexie Hendricks took first in 2:09.71 and Erin Arndt was second in 2:12.06.
Hoven followed with a victory in the 200 individual medley (2:29.09) and Maris Jahner led a 3-4-5 finish in the 50 free with a time of 27.19.
Kylei Grosfield scored 191.80 to win the diving and Jahner set the pace in the 100 fly (1:07.64).
“Maris usually does the breast stroke but Monday we threw her into the fly to see what she could do,” Leindecker said. “And she came through with a great time.”
Hendricks added the 500 free victory to her resume (5:43.67), McRae claimed the 100 back (1:09.48), Frey captured the 100 breast stroke (1:10.47) and the team of Arndt, Jahner, Hendricks and Hoven set the pace in the 400 free relay (4:00.52). Placing second in the event was the quartet of Frey, Knutson, Mackenzie Ritchie and Morgan Williams (4:06.11).
“Everybody swam at least one off event,” Leindecker said. “If you swim the same events over and over you aren’t going to progress. You’ll get stale. So it is good for the swimmers to try different events.
“As coaches we enjoy moving people around,” Leindecker continued. “We’ve had talented teams before but not one as versatile and deep as this team. It’s going to be fun watching this team develop. By section meet time we’ll have so many lineup options that the other section coaches won’t know how to prepare for us.”
Bemidji 214, Perham 91
Bemidji 179, Grand Rapids 136
Grand Rapids 218, Perham 90
200 medley relay: 1-Bemidji (Knutson, Frey, Vanasse, Krause) 2:02.31. Other Bemidji: 2-Bemidji (Hewitt, Hoven, McRae, Jahner) 2:03.08; 6-Bemidji (Kivi, Ingalls, Littlewolf, Fellman) 2:24.87
200 free: 1-Hendricks (Bem) 2:09.71. Other Bemidji: 2-Arndt 2:12.06; 5-Williams 2:17.54; 7-Ritchie 2:20.38
200 IM: 1-Hoven (Bem) 2:29.09. Other Bemidji: 4-McRae 2:31.70; 7-Wright 2:42.05; 10-Knutson 2:46.46
50 free: 1-Viren (GR) 24.67. Bemidji’s results: 3-Jahner 27.19; 4-Krause 28.07; 5-Grosfield 28.18
Diving: 1-Grosfield (Bem) 191.80. Other Bemidji: 3-Hennum 126.50; 8-Sycks 86.10
100 fly: 1-Jahner 1:07.64. Other Bemidji: 3-Vanasse 1:10.06; 5-Wright 1:14.70; 7-Krause 1:18.78
100 free: 1-Viren (GR) 53.57. Bemidji’s results: 2-Frey 54.40; 3-Hoven 58.49; 8-Williams 1:00.98; 9-Hendricks 1:04.99
500 free: 1-Hendricks (Bem) 5:43.67. Other Bemidji: 4-Arndt 6:04.27; 5-Ritchie 6:17.24; 6-Johnson 6:27.54
200 free relay: 1-Grand Rapids 1:46.86. Bemidji’s results: 3-Bemidji (Williams, Krause, J.Hendricks, Arndt) 1:52.0; 4-Bemidji (Wright, McRae, L.Hendricks, Vanasse) 1:55.53; 5-Bemidji (Grosfield, Ritchie, Johnson, Bellefy) 1:56.78
100 back: 1-McRae (Bem) 1:09.48. Other Bemidji: 4-Knutson 1:11.22; 5-Hewitt 1:11.79; 9-Kivi 1:20.37
100 breast stroke: 1-Frey (Bem) 1:10.47. Other Bemidji: 6-Bellefy 1:32.17; 9-Ingalls 1:34.39; 10-Littlewolf 1:34.99
400 free relay: 1-Bemidji (Arndt, Jahner, L.Hendricks, Hoven) 4:00.52. Other Bemidji: 2-Bemidji (Frey, Knutson, Ritchie, Williams) 4:06.11; 4-Bemidji (J.Hendricks, Johnson, Vanasse, Wright) 4:16.53; 7-Bemidji (Hewitt, Littlewolf, Fellman, Kivi) 4:35.50