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Bemidji HS swim team winds down regular season at Grand Rapids

The Bemidji High swim team becomes the final fall unit to conclude its regular season when it heads to Grand Rapids tonight for the Thunderhawks Invitational.

The divers compete at the Buffalo Diving Invitational tomorrow.

Bemidji finished third at last year's event behind Buffalo and Duluth East but ahead of Hibbing and the Rapids. It was only 32 points behind East, a distance it hopes to make up this year.,

Buffalo will be shooting for its third straight title.

One thing could be similar to last year. Bemidji was without two regulars at that event due to illness. And the team has been battling through a siege of illness for two weeks with its lineup unknown from day to day.

Virtually all were back for the Tuesday 99-87 win over Moorhead that ended the dual meet season at 7-2-1, the fifth straight winning season for the girls.

Coach Scott Leindecker is hoping for a complete cast tonight.

The team had double figure performances from Selina Gilbertson, Stephanie Frey and Katie Verchota against the Spuds. With Frey's win in the breaststroke and the 1-3 finish in the 400 relay breaking a 78-78 tie and bringing home the win.

Thirty of the 99 points came from the freshman cast while the seniors contributed 39.

Balance continues to be one of the team's strongest suits.

Another has been the strong diving contingent only a short period of time removed from several years when Bemidji had none.

Tayler Heinle, Jana Hedstrom, Brittany Maxwell ,Haley Erickson and Jade Hovet have made continually strong showings in every meet.

Heinle won the diving title at Grand Rapids last fall while Gilbertson swept the 100 and 200 free and the 200 free relay also was first.

The team will start its taper Monday for the Section 8A meet at Warroad Nov. 13-14, the first journey into the single A ranks for Bemidji in its long history. It won the True Team section 8 meet earlier this year.

Bemidji will open today with Gilbertson, Verchota, Laura Yourd and Lexi Hendricks in the 200 free, Frey, Alicia Papke-Larson, Maris Jahner and Ashlin Hasson in the IM and Heinle, Kirsten Sharpe, Katie Krause and Tayler McLean in the 50.

Heinle, Hedstrom, Erickson and Maxwell will be the divers.

It will be Jahner, Jamie Vanasse, Hannah Sweep and Clare Lawrence in the fly, Gilbertson, Dani Luby, Yourd and Sharpe in the 100 free and Verchota, Hendricks, Bethany Scholl and Jordyn Olson in the 500.

Luby, Hasson, Taylor Hedges and Lawrence will swim the backstroke and Frey, Papke-Larson, McKenzie and McLean the breaststroke.

The relay makeups will be decided at the meet.