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GIRLS SWIMMING: Jacks fall to Brainerd in home opener

Bemidji High School junior Abby Yartz swims the 200-yard individual medley in Tuesday's meet against Brainerd at Bemidji High School. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 2
Bemidji High School senior Hannah Sether swims the 200-yard freestyle in a meet against Brainerd on Tuesday at Bemidji High School. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 2

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School girls swimming and diving team took to the waters of the BHS pool for the first time this season Tuesday night. Brainerd was too much to handle for the Lumberjacks as the visitors won the dual meet 117-69.

“Brainerd’s a really good team,” BHS head coach Woody Leindecker said following the team’s second meet of the season. “I thought our team, we had probably over a dozen best times and we’re pretty pleased with early on where we’re going.”

Paige Andersen found success in the sprint races, winning the 50 free and the 100 free. The junior finished first in the 50 free with a time of 25.74 seconds, nearly a second and a half ahead of Brainerd’s Jamie Wallace and Jacquilyn Rude, who tied for second with identical times of 27.20.

Andersen took the 100 free by more than two seconds, clocking in at 57.37 seconds to claim the victory.

“(Andersen) has a good summer behind her,” Leindecker said. “She won the 50 and the 100. She looked really strong in the back half of her races.”

Over in the long distance events, Abby Yartz secured a win by nearly 10 seconds in the 500 free. The junior prevailed with a time of 5:47.56.

The Lumberjacks were victorious in both freestyle relays, winning the 200 and 400. The 200 relay team of Andersen, Yartz, Claudia Vincent and Miranda Port finished with a time of 1:46.56 to take first place.

The 400 relay team, featuring Yartz, Vincent, Andersen and Nicki Son, claimed first with a time of 3:55.94.

“I think Nicki Son is quietly swimming very well,” Leindecker said of the sophomore. “Her and all the ninth and 10th graders are swimming very well. It’s going to be interesting as the season goes because there’s a lot of young talent with a lot of potential. They’re trying to get their section team spots and whatnot.”

After a seventh-place finish at the Willmar Invite, Leindecker says the team is still discovering who will fill some of those spots come time for the section meet in November.

“Two meets done, there’s still a lot of time left,” he said. “It’s hard to say. This team is young.”

The Jacks will have a couple of weeks off before their next meet, a triangular they will host Tuesday, Sept. 12, at BHS against Perham and Thief River Falls.

“We have a lot of things that the coaches thought tonight that we need to work on,” Leindecker said. “I think we’re gonna, just for the next couple of weeks after the holiday upcoming and school starts, we just need to work on our kicking and our turns.”

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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