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Frey, Hedstrom earn All-State honors

The Bemidji girls swimmers and divers capped a great season Saturday by capturing 12th place at the state Class A meet at the University of Minnesota pool.

Bemidji scored 62 points and, according to coach Woody Leindecker, the point total and the placement are high-water marks for the girls program.

"During the last three to four weeks when we began our taper for the section meet everybody on the team did what they could to make us better," Leindecker said. "And at the state meet all of our athletes performed very well and finished as high as we could have hoped.

"Scoring 62 points and claiming 12th as a team are far and away our best finishes at the state meet."

Individually, Steph Frey earned All-State honors in the 200 individual medley and the 100 free. Joining her as an All-State performer is diver Jana Hedstrom who capped her career with a sixth-place finish.

Frey was third in the 200 IM and duplicated that finish in the 100 free. During Saturday's finals the junior broke the school records that she had set during Friday's preliminaries.

"I'm very happy with my third-place finishes," Frey said. "I couldn't be any happier than I am now."

In the 200 IM Frey spotted Ellen Bloom of Sartell and Caley Oquist of Monticello large leads after the fly and backstroke legs but she posted the best time in the breast stroke to claim third and maintained that spot after the free style leg.

"I probably scared my parents and my coaches at the start because I was so far behind but my breast stroke and free were good and I was able to place third," Frey, who entered the state meet seeded 12th in the event, said. "The two girls ahead of me are very good and my goal was just to maintain the third place that I was in after the preliminaries."

In the 100 free, Frey comfortably claimed third with a time of 52.62, trailing Whitney Weisz of Little Falls (50.57) and Solveig Viren of Grand Rapids (52.03).

A distant fourth was Abby Schnaith of Red Wing with a time of 53.09.

"The 100 free was a carbon copy of Friday's preliminary race," Leindecker said. "Steph was a little faster than on Friday but so were the two girls ahead of her."

"Finishing in third place came down to the last 50 yards," Frey said. "I was in third with 50 yards to go and I had to hang in there."

Hedstrom entered Saturday's final in sixth place and the senor maintained that position with 320.30 points. Bailey Dupay of Northfield was the overall winner with 405.50, Casey Nightingale of Benilde-St. Margaret was second with 336.65 and Karli Kriewall of Albert Lea claimed third with 329.95.

"Only nine points separated Jana from third place so the competition was very close and even," Leindecker said. "Jana is thrilled to place sixth and the coaches are also thrilled to see her do so well. She is the first girls diver form Bemidji to be All State and bring home a medal."

Lexie Hendricks contributed a point to Bemidji's total by placing 16th in the 500 free with a time of 5:26.53.

The Lumberjacks also scored points with their 200 free and 400 free relays. Frey, Danielle Hoven, Kenzie Timms and Erin Arndt teamed for a school-record time of 1:41.74 in the 200 free relay and improved three spots from their 14th place preliminary showing.

Bemidji capped the state meet with a 15th place finish in the 400 free relay as Frey, Hoven, Timms and Arndt combined for a time of 3:46.31.

"It's been a great year and it was a great state meet for Bemidji," Leindecker said. "Everybody performed very well and we're elated to finish 12th."

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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