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SWIMMING: Grosfield falls short in bid to reach diving finals, but swimmers start today

Bemidji High School swim captains (left to right) Lexie Hendricks, Steph Fry and Maris Jahner carry the Section 8A championship trophy and lead the team around the high school gym during this week’s pep fest. Many of the Lumberjacks will compete in the state swimming and diving meet which began Thursday and continues through Saturday. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

MINNEAPOLIS – Kylei Grosfield fell short in her attempt to advance to Saturday’s finals of the state high school Class A diving competition after placing 19th in Thursday’s preliminaries at the University of Minnesota pool.

The Bemidji eighth grader was 14th with 133.05 points after the first round of diving (five dives) but she dipped to 19th after the second round of three dives.

Only the top 16 divers advanced to Saturday’s championship round so Grosfield’s state meet is over.

“On her first dive Kylei only scored 2s and 3s and she couldn’t get those points back,” said BHS diving coach Ryan Ohnstad.

“Overall her dives weren’t too bad but she doesn’t have a high degree of difficulty (DD) on her dives. The divers with high DDs have better chances of scoring high and making the top 16.”

Swimming begins today

Today’s schedule features the swimming preliminaries and the Lumberjacks appear poised to do well in their events.

BHS is entered in the 200 medley, 200 free and 400 free relays and this is the first time in the program’s history that the Jacks qualified for state in all three relay events.

Individually BHS will be represented by Lexie Hendricks in the 200 free, Erin Arndt and Steph Frey in the 200 individual medley, Libby McRae in the 100 fly, Frey in the 100 free plus Alyssa Wright and Hendricks in the 500 free.

Heading into the preliminaries Bemidji’s top-seeded swimmer (based on the various section meet results) is Frey who is ranked seventh in the 100 free and ninth in the 200 IM. Lumberjacks head coach Woody Leindecker, however, said that seeding position can be thrown out the window when the actual races begin.

“I really don’t know where our swimmers are seeded going in nor do I care,” Leindecker said. “There are so many variables with the section results that the times mean very little.

“I do know that we have the girls going to state who can score and, with the points for the relays being double, there are points to grab.”

Defending Class A champion Sartell returns at least one relay team or individual to every event and probably is the favorite to win the team title once again.

Last fall BHS placed 12th and the goal this weekend is to move up to the top 10.

“That’s a do-able goal. That’s a realistic finish for us,” Leindecker said.

“Coming to state from Section 8A there is no pressure on us,” he continued. “The other teams at the state meet know absolutely nothing about northern Minnesota teams but they really should. We have talented swimmers and a very solid all-around team.”

Leindecker said that the Lumberjacks will have to improve their times in each event if they hope to crack the top 10 as a team.

“We will be up against some swimmers who are faster than us, some who are about the same and some who are slower,” the coach said. “We will be up against some swimmers who did everything possible to be at their peak for the section meet instead of for state.

“From past experience we’ve learned that we have to swim our best times at state to score,” Leindecker said. “And we are going to state to do just that.”

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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