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Jacks claim 25th in state swimming

Steph Frey's performances in the 200 free and 100 breast stroke helped the Bemidji High School girls swimming team finish 25th at last weekend's state Class A meet.

Frey placed third in the breast stroke and seventh in the 200 free and those performances were rewarded with 28 team points.

Hutchinson won the state crown with 240 points while Monticello had 205 and Sartell 191.

"Looking back we had a great season," said Lumberjacks coach Woody Leindecker. "We lost only one dual and that was to Brainerd. We sent three athletes to the state, we finished 28th at state and we were the 8A Academic champions with a team grade point average of 3.74.

"And diving coach Ryan Ohnstad was voted the Section 8A Diving Coach of the Year. We have much to be proud of this year."

Joining Frey at the state meet were Lexie Hendricks who swam the 500 free and diver Jana Hedstrom. Neither finished in the top 16 but both will be better next year because of their state meet experiences.

"Experience is so important when you compete at the state," Leindecker said. "It is a completely different world at state. Last year Steph competed in a couple events at state so this year she knew what to expect.

"I actually brought a couple of girls from the 200 relay team as managers so they could see how Steph prepared for her races and how she handled the hoopla," Leindecker added. "Steph's experience was evident in the way she competed last weekend."

Hedstrom also was at the state meet last year and she finished 16th as a sophomore in diving.

Last Thursday she was hoping to better that performance but the junior did not make the top 16 after the preliminaries.

"Jana wasn't at her best that day," Leindecker said. "But she made it to state and that's quite an accomplishment."

Hendricks also was not among the top 16 swimmers after the 500 free preliminaries. Leindecker, however, believes that this will not be Hendricks' only state appearance.

"Lexie has a state meet under her belt and this experience is invaluable," Leindecker said. "She'll be back."

Frey also should make a return appearance but no one would be surprised if she eventually wins an event title.

"Steph's third-place finish in the 100 breast is the highest state placing in the history of the Bemidji girls program," Leindecker said.

"She also set multiple school records along the way and she crushed the 200 free and 100 breast stroke records during the section meet and the state meet.

"It was fun watching her compete."

Winter teams continue preparations

The gymnastics team is busy preparing for the season opener which will be Dec. 10 at home against Park Rapids.

The squad was scheduled to begin its second week of practice Monday but the snowstorm cancelled all high school activities.

Gym coach Don Papreck is working with eight gymnasts, a drop of six from last winter's 14.

Serving as captains this winter are juniors Katie Jensen and Brooke Beck. Also on the roster are returning juniors Jessica Bergquist and Chelsey Anderson, sophomore Alyshia Moe, freshman Sara Erickson, eighth grader Amy Carey and Kylei Stedje who is new to the program.

The boys hockey team also is in its second week of practice. BHS will open the season Dec. 3 at Monticello. The Jacks will also visit Sartell, Moorhead, St. Cloud Apollo and Warroad before finally coming home to play Thief River Falls 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the BREC.

The girls basketball team will begin its schedule one week from today when it hosts Crookston. The skiers also are entering their second week of practice and Monday's snow was a welcome sight.

The wrestlers and boys basketball teams begin their practice schedules today while the boys swimmers will hit the practice pool next Monday.

Girls hockey at Roseau

The Bemidji girls hockey team continues its schedule today when it visits Roseau and this weekend the Jacks will head to Buffalo.

Friday sees Bemidji battling the host team at 5 p.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday Bemidji will face North Wright County.

The Lumberjacks are coming off Friday's season-opening 4-2 loss to Thief River Falls at the BREC. Janie Johnson and Allie Lapp scored Bemidji's goals and Emily Denzer finished with 25 saves.

Cross country captains

The BHS cross country teams recently announced their 2011 captains. Devin Danielson, Dan Clemenson, Tanner Asper and Ryan Erickson will hold those duties for the boys squad while Kim Truedson, Mikayla Connell, Kayla Olson and Alex Lyren will be the girls captains.

This year's Most Valuable Runners were Andy Berube and Bailey Drewes.