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Park Rapids takes Section 8A swim meet title

Park Rapids was a surprise winner of the Section 8A swim meet Saturday, topping a nine team field at Warroad.

The Panthers claimed their first crown with 358.5 points to 328 for defending champion Fergus Falls, Bemidji was a close third at 308.5 with Detroit Lakes and Warroad rounding out the top five.

Only 65 points separated the top four teams.

Bemidji will send three individuals and two relay teams to the state.

Selina Gilbertson was second in the 200 free, setting a pool record in the preliminaries. Steph Frey was second in the IM and narrowly, missed qualifying in the breaststroke.

Diver Jana Hedstrom tied for third.

Also advancing was the championship 200 free relay team of Frey, Maris Jahner, Katie Verchota and Gilbertson and the 400 relay of Frey, Dani Luby, Verchota and Gilbertson which was second to Fergus Falls.

It is the largest group Bemidji has sent to the state in a number of years.,

Bemidji posted 23 personal bests in the two-day meet in a fine performance.

Bemidji's weaknesses in four events again proved costly.

Fergus Falls took the medley relay in record time with Bemidji seventh.

Karley Sylvester of Warroad stopped Gilbertson by two seconds in the 200 free after the Bemidji swimmer set the pool record in the prelims. Verchota was fourth, Laura Yourd 10 and Lexi Hendricks 13 for a strong Bemidji event.

Susie Kitzman of Fergus won the IM where Alicia Papke-Larson's 11th was Bemidji's tops.

Heidi Busack of Fergus registered the third meet record in the 50 where Kirsten Sharpe's 11 was the only Bemidji placer.

But Bemidji did well in diving with Hedstrom tying Kyja Penning of Park Rapids for third to gain the state, Tayler Heinle ending eighth, Brittany Maxwell 10 and Hailey Erickson 12.

Melissa Paakh of DL broke her own record in the fly where Jamie Vanasse was eighth and Jahner 15.

Busack became a double winner in the 100 free setting another meet mark. Gilbertson was fourth, less than three seconds away from gaining the state. Luby was eighth and Sharpe 15.

Libby Larson of DL won the 500 with Verchota third, less than three seconds away from the state. Hendricks was 10 and Bethany Scholl 16.

Frey,, Jahner, Verchota and Gilbertson combined to win the 200 free relay by a touch over Warroad.

Katherine Erickson of Park Rapids led the backstrokers where Luby was 12 as the lone Bemidji scorer

Kelsey Kratzke of Perham nosed Paakh in the breaststroke in a major upset with Frey 38/100 away from a state berth in third. Papke-Larson was 10 and Taylor McLean 13.

Fergus won the 400 relay over Bemidji with Frey, Luby, Verchota and Gilbertson claiming Bemidji's final state berth. The state meet opens a three day stand Thursday at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

SECTION 8Aat Warroad

Team totals: Park Rapids 359.5, Fergus Falls 328, Bemidji 300.5, Detroit Lakes 204, Warroad 236, Thief River Falls 177, Perham 172, Crookston 105, Fosston-Bagley 96, Roseau 96

200 medley relay (1:5134) 1. FF; 2. PR; 3. TRF; 4. Per; 5 DL; 7. Bem Hasson-Luby-Papke-Larson-Sharpe)

(meet record, old record 1:51.49 by Fergus Falls)

200 f.s. (1:59.68) 1. Sylvester, Wrd; 2. Gilbertson, Bem; 3. Larson, DL; 4. Verchota, Bem; 5. Schulke, FF; 10 Yourd, Bem; 13. Hendricks, Bem; (meet record, old record 2:00..72 by Sylvester)

200 IM (2:28.81) 1. Kitzman, FF; 2. Frey, Bem; 3. Schirmers, PR; 4. Zinke, PR; 5. Anderson, Ckn; 11. Papke-Larson, Bem.

50 f.s. (24.39) 1. Busack, FF; 2. Thompson, Wrd; 3. Monk, FF; 4. Steenerson, TRF; 5. Stennes, TRF; 11. Sharpe, Bem (meet record, old record 24.58 by Busack)

Diving (349.05) 1. Dugger, DL;. 2. Halbur,, DL; 3. (tie) Penning, PR and. Hedstrom, Bem; 5. Colden, Wrd; 8, Heinle, Bem; 10, Maxwell, Bem;.12, Erickson. Bem.

100 fly (59.06) 1. Paakh, DL; 2. Kitzman, FF; 3..Penning, PR; 4.. Zinke, PR; 5. Meyer, Per; 8. Vanasse, Bem; 15. Jahner, Bem. (new record, old record 59.25 by Paakh)

100 f.s. (52.95) 1. Busack, 0FF; 2. Thompson, Wrd; 3. Sylvester, Wrd; 4. Gilbertson, Bem; 5. Creager, PR; 7. Luby, Bem; 15, Sharpe, Bem; (new record, plod record 53.11 by Busack)

500 f.s. (5:27.56) 1. Larson, DL;.2. Anderson, FF; 3. Verchota, Bem; 4. Meinert, PR; 5. Schuelke, FF; 10. Hendricks, Bem; 16. Scholl, Bem.

200 f.s. relay (1:44.32) 1. Bem (Gilbertson-Jahner-Verchota-Frey); 2.Wrd; 3. PR; 4. TRF; 5.FF

100 backstroke (1:03.65) 1. Erickson, PR; 2. Fisher, FF; 3. Koch, Ckn; 4. Ondracek, PR; 5.Spies, DL; 12,Luby, Bem; 15. Hasson, Bem.

100 breast (1:10.21) 1. Kratzke, Per; 2. Paakh, DL; 3. Frey, Bem; 4. Schirmers, PR; 5 Williams, PR; 10. Papke-Larson, Bem; 13. McLean, Bem.

400 f.s. relay (3:43.65) 1. FF; 2. Bem (Gilbertson-Yourd-Verchota-Sharpe); 3. Wrd; 4.PR;5..DL