MINNEAPOLIS -- The season came to a close on Thursday for the Bemidji High School girls swimming and diving team at the Class A state prelims, but co-head coach Kristen McRae was pleased with what she saw in the pool at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota.
“We didn’t get anybody in for finals, but I thought we had some pretty good comeback swims,” McRae said. “The girls, they worked hard. They did do well. But in the grand scheme of things, there are so many fast swimmers down here.”
The Lumberjacks had five individuals competing over seven events. Paige Andersen picked up her best individual finish in the 50-yard freestyle, where she took 18th in a time of 24.75. She was also 18th in the 400 free relay -- alongside Gabbi Takkunen, Abby Yartz and Laura Davis -- finishing in 3:43.89.
Andersen was 19th in the 100 free with her time of 54.25, while she and Yartz, Davis and Claudia Vincent finished 27th in the 200 free relay at 1:42.95.
Elsewhere for BHS, Yartz took 23rd in the 100 backstroke (1:02.32) and 28th in the 200 IM (2:17.24). Davis’ time of 2:03.87 in the 200 free slotted her 25th, rounding out the day for Bemidji.
“They all were impressive,” McRae said. “You had a couple of good swims out of the gate, maybe a rocky one here, but they kept coming back and they kept trying.
“They’re a great group of kids. Kind of fun for those four seniors (Andersen, Takkunen, Vincent and Yartz) to have started this process many years ago… and get to walk away together.”
And while none of the Lumberjacks are advancing to the finals, McRae said there’s already anticipation toward next season.
“The takeaway is always a little bit of motivation for next season,” she said. “If we want to compete at a level like this, we’ve got to step it up.”