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Bemidji girls swim team beats Moorhead to end dual meet season

Senior Kirsten Sharpe made her final home appearance Tuesday, swimming in four events at the 99-87 win over Moorhead. She swam on both the medley (above) and 400 free relays and 50 and 100 freestyle. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

The Bemidji High girls swim team wound up another successful dual season Tuesday night, rallying to pull out a 99- 87 decision over Moorhead at the high school pool.

It was the fifth straight winning year for Bemidji, ending at 7-2-1 and raising its five-year record to 37-9-1.

It concludes its year Friday at the Grand Rapids Invitational with the divers competing Saturday at the Buffalo Diving meet.

It then makes its first venture into the 8A section meet Nov. 13-14 seeking to repeat its victory from the True Team sectional earlier this year.

As usual, Bemidji and Moorhead staged a spirited battle all the way until Bemidji broke a 78-78 tie by taking the final two events.

Moorhead jumped to a 12-2 lead at the start by going 1-2 in the medley relay when Bemidji's top team was disqualified.

Selina Gilbertson claimed the 200 free for Bemidji but the team gained only two points in the event.

It split 16 points in the IM despite a win by Steph Frey in 2:24.,02 but picked up two in the 50 free with a 2-3-4 finish led by Katie Verchota.

Bemidji took its first lead when Tayler Heinle, Jana Hedstrom and Brittany Maxwell went 1-2-4 off the one meter board, Heinle edging Hedstrom by three points.

The lead quickly vanished in the butterfly as Madeline Johnson led a 1-2-5 Moorhead finish that sent the Spuds back in front 49-45.

But Bemidji took it right back as Gilbertson completed a sweep of the sprints, adding the 100 to her 50 title with Dani Luby third and Laura Yourd fourth for at 11-5 Bemidji event and a two point lead.

It left again in the 500 where Moorhead went 1-3-5 behind Maggie Little who edged Verchota by two seconds.

Frey, Maris Jahner, Gilbertson and Verchota then combined to take the 200 free relay to key a 1-2 finish as the home team moved to a 74-66 lead.

Moorhead erased the eight point deficit with a 1-2-4 in the backstroke to knot the score at 78.

Frey unknotted it in the breaststroke with a winning 1:14.77 finish with Alicia Papke-Larson third and McKenzie Timms fourth to send Bemidji ahead to stay .

Needing only a 2-3 finish in the 400 free relay to win, Bemidji did it one better, with Frey, Luby, Gilbertson and Verchota winnings by two seconds and Yourd, Kirsten Sharpe, Papke-Larson and Clare Lawrence taking third.

There was no JV meet.