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Bemidji High School boys swim team ends banner year at state tournament

Bemidji's Tucker Asper swims in the 500-yard freestyle state finals Saturday night at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Forum Communications Co. Photo/Tom Carothers

The Bemidji Lumberjacks swimmers finished their second finest season in history, Saturday, scoring 77.5 points at the state meet, a total exceeded only by the 99 recorded in 1995 when Bemidji ended ninth.

Bemidji qualified two relays and five individuals for Saturday's finals and consolation finals in Friday's preliminaries at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

Saturday Bemidji also finished ninth.

Fifty of the total came from the two free relays.

The 200 free of Dylan Hoven, Nick Lee, Mark Wilcox and Jared Vanasse retained its fifth place from Friday, finishing in 1:27.50 to score 28 points.

The 400 foursome of Tucker Asper, Lee, Vanasse and Wilcox remained in eighth, finishing in 3:15.65 to add 22 points.

Bemidji's third finalist, Hoven, again took seventh in the 50 free at 21:87, just over his Friday time, to score 12 points.

Asper added seven with a 10th in the 500, moving up from 13th in the prelims. His time of 4:50.44 was just over the school record of 4:50.06 held by the legendary Dale Brown.

Another six points came from Wilcox in the IM with an 11th place finish in 1:5935, slightly higher but one spot lower than his Friday qualifying time and placing.

The final 2½ points were posted by Wilcox in the 100 free where he was clocked in 48.74 to tie for 14th. He had qualified ninth at 48:01 Friday.

Of the 65 schools with swimmers entered, 39 scored with two 8AA schools in the top ten. In addition to Bemidji's ninth, section champion Brainerd was seventh with 127.

Only Asper, Vanasse and Lee will graduate from the tournament swimmers along with Derek Buckanaga.