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GIRLS SWIMMING: Jacks swim to second-place finish

Bemidji High School senior Alyssa Mess swims the 200-yard individual medley at the Bemidji Invitational on Saturday at BHS. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
Lumberjack swimmers cheer on Kaleigh Hickman as she swims the 200-yard individual medley in the Bemidji Invitational on Saturday at BHS. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 3
Bemidji High School junior Sara Oster swims the 200-yard individual medley at the Bemidji Invitational on Saturday at BHS. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School girls swimming and diving team battled through fatigue and earned a second-place finish at its home invitational on Saturday.

“I thought we swam really well today. We had 18 season bests,” head coach Woody Leindecker said. “It’s this time of year when swimmers are kinda beat up and tired. They’re learning to swim fast tired.”

Abby Yartz and Paige Andersen came away with first-place finishes in the 200 and 50 free, respectively, to help the Lumberjacks place second out of eight teams with 464 points, which trailed only Melrose Area’s 533.

Yartz’s 200 free finish of 2:05.95 was top among all 26 swimmers, while Andersen beat out as many with a 25.77 time in the 50 free.

“Abby’s 200, she was fearless and just went after it,” Leindecker said. “Everybody chased her, she challenged them, and they couldn’t catch her. Paige is really tired, but raced well, too.”

Bemidji also picked up a pair of individual second-place finishes from Alyssa Mess. Mess finished the 200 IM with a time of 2:28.55 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:15.27 to pick up 17 points for BHS in each.

Two Bemidji teams took second in relays, as well. In the 200 free relay, Miranda Port, Andersen, Claudia Vincent and Yartz earned a time of 1:45.18, just over a second behind the first-place team from Melrose Area. In the 400 free relay, BHS was again unable to top Melrose Area, but Yartz, Vincent, Nicki Son and Andersen combined for a 3:53.62 finish, good for second.

Alli Howard scored 343.75 in diving, edging out Willmar’s Olivia Welsh by 0.3 points to lock up third place, as well.

“That’s what good teams do, what good swimmers and divers do,” Leindecker said of battling through fatigue. “You just have to find a way to swim fast tired because we can’t let off the pedal right now. We want to peak in November.”

Bemidji will dive back into action at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, when it hosts Moorhead at Bemidji High School.

Team results

1-Melrose Area 533; 2-Bemidji 464; 3-Willmar 354.5; 4-Mound Westonka Holy Family 337; 5-Cambridge-Isanti 273.5; 6-Ogilvie Mora 242; 7-Warroad/Roseau/Greenbush-Middle River 74; 8-Perham/New York Mills 26.

Individual results

Diving: 1-Schramm (Willmar) 387.95. Bemidji results: 3-Howard 343.75; 6-Gibbons 290.40; 8-Lundquist 272.90.

200 Medley Relay: 1-Melrose Area (Nathe, Rosenberger, Drossel, Herzog) 1:57.77. Bemidji results: 6-BHS A (Son, Port, Mess, Davis) 2:06.12; 10-BHS C (Pollock, Malterud, McCarthy, Quick) 2:15.25; 12-BHS B (Korbel, Oster, Hickman, Melcher) 2:16.48; 14-BHS D (Hoover, Saiger, Fisher, Burgess) 2:23.25.

200 Freestyle: 1-Yartz (Bemidji) 2:05.95. Bemidji results: 6-Sether 2:14.99; 13-Nyberg 2:19.07; 15-Fairbanks 2:19.96.

200 IM: 1-Von Wahlde (Melrose Area) 2:19.63. Bemidji results: 2-Mess 2:28.55; 6-Davis 2:37.74; 13-Hickman 2:46.69; 14-Korbel 2:47.04.

50 Freestyle: 1-Andersen (Bemidji) 25.77. Bemidji results: 8-Vincent 27.20; 10-Port 27.61; 17-Melcher 29.06.

100 Butterfly: 1-Drossel (Melrose Area) 1:04.86. Bemidji results: 5-Vincent 1:10.87; 6-Son 1:11.68; 14-McCarthy 1:16.99; 15-Hickman 1:17.55.

100 Freestyle: 1-Bitz (Melrose Area) 55.36. Bemidji results: 4-Andersen 58.62; 14-Melcher 1:04.26; 17-Alexander 1:04.76; 20-Fairbanks 1:05.71.

500 Freestyle: 1-Fanth (Cambridge-Isanti) 5:38.47. Bemidji results: 4-Yartz 5:50.48; 5-Sether 5:59.57; 6-Davis 6:03.68; 13-Jones 6:16.94.

200 Freestyle Relay: 1-Melrose Area (Herzog, Drossel, Von Wahlde, Bitz) 1:43.75. Bemidji results: 2-BHS A (Port, Andersen, Vincent, Yartz) 1:45.18; 10-BHS B (Korbel, Quick, Melcher, Sether) 1:57.30; 12-BHS C (Nyberg, McCarthy, Alexander, Burgess) 1:58.64; 16-BHS D (Pollock, Hoover, Jones, Fairbanks) 2:03.11; 20-BHS E (Malterud, Burgoon, Declusion, Moen) 2:09.12; 22-BHS F (Lamoure, Jordahl, Skoe, Thompson) 2:10.52.

100 Backstroke: 1-Von Wahlde (Melrose Area) 1:00.87. Bemidji results: 6-Son 1:09.71; 17-Korbel 1:15.89; 18-Nyberg 1:15.94; 20-Pollock 1:20.03.

100 Breaststroke: 1-Drossel (Melrose Area) 1:13.22. Bemidji results: 2-Mess 1:15.27; 5-Port 1:18.15; 8-Malterud 1:22.85; 9-Oster 1:23.04.

400 Freestyle Relay: 1-Melrose Area (Berscheit, Herzog, Von Wahlde, Bitz) 3:49.36. Bemidji results: 2-BHS A (Yartz, Vincent, Son, Andersen) 3:53.62; 7-BHS B (Davis, Nyberg, Sether, Mess) 4:11.80; 9-BHS C (Alexander, Jones, Hickman, Fairbanks) 4:18.39; 12-BHS D (McCarthy, Pollock, Fisher, Saiger) 4:31.04; 17-BHS E (Jordahl, Lamoure, Moen, Oster) 4:48.94; 20-BHS F (Declusion, Burgoon, Skoe, Thompson) 4:55.76.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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