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Five Bemidji High School teams in major tournaments today

Five Bemidji High School sports teams face major tournament action today.

Two are at Giants Ridge to compete in the Mesabi East ski meet, the largest cross country high school meet in the nation.

The swimmers defend their title at the Detroit Lakes Invitational.

The gymnasts are defending champs at the Park Rapids Invitational while the wrestlers complete a two-day stand at Cambridge in the Bluejackets individual tournament after wrestling in a quadrangular Friday night.

The Mesabi ski meet attracts several hundred teams from throughout the state and Wisconsin competing in a number of divisions in races from the varsity down through junior high.

Bemidji usually finishes midway through the pack. The girls were 23rd among 73 teams in their division last winter and the boys 34th among 74.

Schools enter three skiers in each of the classical and freestyle legs and count the low two scores toward the team total.

Both have enjoyed modest success this year with the boys showing a win at Maplelag, a second and five top-five finishes.

They are led by Matt Lee, Adam Holter, Tony and Kyle Sagedahl and Luke Brokl.

The girls also won at Maplelag and have been in the top three of their five starts.

They are paced by Bailey Drewes, Molly Manske, Laura Yourd, Alicia Papke-Larson and Tiffany Larson and could move up Kim Truedson from the JV to complete their six skier unit.

Bemidji could enter a JV boys team but is unlikely to enter a girls. The junior high does not usually compete in this event.

Swimmers defend

The swim team will be defending champs at the Detroit Lakes meet, an event in which they have had unusual success through the years.

But graduation claimed 161 of the 354 points they scored at DL last year.

Bemidji won its second dual 98-88 at Grand Rapids Thursday and has its full cast ready to go.

Leading the way are seniors Matt Wilcox and Paul Voss, juniors Dylan Hoven, Adam Falk and Nick Nyberg, and sophomores Pat Voss and Nick Gubbels.

Bemidji will host its own invitational next Friday before swimming at the True Team section meet at Detroit Lakes the following day.

Also champs

The gymnastics team is also defending champion at the Park Rapids meet which they won over a five-team field in 2009.

Bemidji beat Little Falls 131.35 to 131.05 to take last year's title and considers the Flyers its top opponent today.

They dropped their season opener at Little Falls 129-125 and have yet to reach 130 this year, though coming one point shy against Detroit Lakes.

Rachel Bell and Nicole McDonald led the team at PR last year and both are back.

They will be joined by Katie Jensen, Jessie Bergquist, Brooke Beck and Kati Parker with Tiana Stinar, Audri Goodwin, Chelsea Anderson and Amy Carey other possibilities.

Shorthanded crew

The wrestling team will have several regulars back on the mat but will still be shorthanded at Cambridge.

Coach Rance Bahr will enter only nine varsity wrestlers in the major meet and another dozen in the JV division where they will be able to compete at more their own level.

The Jacks took seventh at last year's event with Corey Huber and Evan Olson winning titles.

Only Huber, of that pair, will be back today.

But Colton Doty will return after missing the last five matches with an injury. Also back is Drew Peterson, who sat out the Rumble on the Red at Fargo with an injury.

And making his varsity debut will be transfer Leroy Pacheco, counted on to add strength to the middle weights.

Also returning are Kodi Craft, Russ Mason and Logan Knutson who will wrestle with the JV today.

It will be Craft's first match of the year.

The team heads to Hibbing Thursday and hosts the Rick Lee Invitational Saturday.

Today's starting lineup is as follows:

103-Open, Nick Ness

112-Logan Crosby, Gary Molash

119-Jake Crosby, Kade Johnson

125-Colton Doty, Open

130- Craig Maas, Open

135-Dale Norton, Josh Dreyer

140-Drew Peterson, Cody Thoring

145-Open, Kody Craft or Dustin Greenman

152-Open, Russ Mason

160-Leroy Pacheco, Logan Knutson

171-Corey Huber, Nick Conner or Tyler Molitor

189-Open, Brenden Fredrickson

215-Open, Open

Hwt.-Alex Johnson, Open