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Bemidji HS swimming: 400 free relay lifts Jacks to win

Tuesday's swimming and diving meet at Moorhead went down to the final event and for Bemidji to win the Lumberjacks needed to go 1-2 in the 400 free relay.

BHS coach Woody Leindecker decided to go for broke and he split his two relays in an attempt to try and grab those necessary team points.

"It doesn't make any difference if you lose a meet by two points or by eight points so we decided we had nothing to lose," Leindecker said.

The tactic worked as Steph Frey anchored the lead relay to a winning time of 4:00.52 and Alicia Papke-Larson held off Moorhead's final swimmer to claim second place in 4:01.32.

Moorhead was a close third in 4:01.83.

The 1-2 finish gave the Jacks a 94-92 victory over the Spuds.

"A coach looks pretty smart when a move like this actually works," Leindecker said. "This was a big win. It's not very often that you go to Moorhead, especially during the last week before tapering, and win. We were beat up and didn't swim well early in the meet but down the stretch we swam very well."

Combining to take first place in the 400 relay were Dani Luby, Bethany Scholl, Lexie Hendricks and Frey. Teaming for second place were Erin Arndt, Maris Yahner, Laura Yourd and Papke-Larson.

The Lumberjacks captured four other events. Frey claimed the 200 IM in 2:17.21 and won the 500 free in 5:27.82. Jana Hedstrom set the pace in diving with 191.90 and the 200 free relay quartet of Papke-Larson, Yourd, Dani Hoven and Kenzie Timms won in a time of 1:49.55.

"We may not have won the majority of the events but our depth and our relay teams were the difference," Leindecker said.

Bemidji returns to action Friday at the Grand Rapids Invitational. Only the swimmers will attend the meet as the divers will travel to Buffalo on Saturday for a diver-only competition. Saturday's event is one of the few times during the regular season that divers will be able to perform their entire 11-dive sequence.

The next opportunity will be at the section meet Nov. 12-13 in Bemidji.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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