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BHS swimmers win sixth-straight section title

BEMIDJI--Members of the Bemidji High School girls swimming and diving team have worn an "X" on their swim caps in practice all season long to mark the target on their backs as five-time Section 8A champions.

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BEMIDJI-Members of the Bemidji High School girls swimming and diving team have worn an "X" on their swim caps in practice all season long to mark the target on their backs as five-time Section 8A champions.

They will continue to carry that target on their backs, as they made it six-straight titles on Saturday.

The Lumberjacks posted 421 points to top second-place Detroit Lakes by 36.5 points and win the Section 8A title at the BHS swimming pool.

"We always know we have a chance," said BHS head coach Woody Leindecker of the team's mindset going into the season. "We set goals early in the season and that was our goal."

Individually, three Bemidji swimmers qualified for state with top-two finishes while the 200 and 400 free relay teams also will be moving on to state.

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Paige Andersen won the 50 free by edging out Ella Henderson of Detroit Lakes by just .03 seconds with a time of 24.79. Andersen also won the 100 free by .06 seconds over Henderson with a finish of 54.98.

"I'm very proud of all the girls," Andersen said. "We worked very hard and it was our goal all season."

Abby Yartz (2:19.03) took second in both the 200 individual medley and the 500 free (5:34.18) to qualify for state.

"I can't find the words because it's a dream that you've had for a long time and you know it will be tough," Yartz said of title No. 6. "I'm just super proud of our team."

Gabbi Takkunen is also state-bound with her second-place finish in the 200 free in a time of 2:05.46.

The BHS 200 free relay team, consisting of Andersen, Yartz, Takkunen and Claudia Vincent, beat Grand Rapids by less than a second to win with a time of 1:42.89. The 400 free relay team also took first place with a finish of 3:45.53 by the same four swimmers as the 200 free.

The Lumberjacks will not have much time to celebrate, as they will soon travel to the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis for the Class A state meet. Swimming preliminaries begin Thursday at noon with finals taking place Friday at noon.

"It's going to be a quick turnaround," Leindecker said. "We're gonna probably jump in the water Tuesday afternoon quick and head out of town."

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Section 8A Girls Swimming and Diving Team Results

1- Bemidji 421; 2-Detroit Lakes 384.5; 3-Grand Rapids 318; 4-Fergus Falls 242; 5-Crookston 205.5; 6-Park Rapids 141; 7-Thief River Falls 139; 8-Perham/New York Mills 131; 9-Staples-Motley 82; 10-Fosston-Bagley 69; 11-Warroad/Roseau/Greenbush-Middle River 55

Individual Finals Results

200 Medley Relay: 1-Detroit Lakes 1:53.04; Bemidji Results: 5-Bemidji (Knutson, Mess, Jacobson, Davis) 1:58.43.

200 Free: 1-Gulon (DL) 1:59.46. Bemidji Results: 2-Takkunen 2:05.46; 7-Jacobson 2:10.92.

200 IM: 1-Tracy (DL) 2:13.60. Bemidji Results: 2-Yartz 2:19.03; 5-Mess 2:21.08.

50 Free: 1-Andersen (Bemidji) 24.79. Other Bemidji Results: 7-Vincent 26.65.

Diving: 1-Disse (DL) 437.90. Bemidji Results: 7-Corradi, A. 335.65; 10-Howard 298.55; 13-Lundquist 276.25; 14-Corradi, E. 269.70.

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100 Fly: 1-Tracy (DL) 59.32.

100 Free: 1-Andersen (Bemidji) 54.98. Other Bemidji Results: 3-Takkunen 57.45; 4-Vincent 57.70.

500 Free: 1-Gulon (DL) 5:17.04. Bemidji Results: 2-Yartz 5:34.18; 4-Sether 5:46.59; 5-Davis 5:47.87; 6-Quick 5:51.83.

200 Free Relay: 1-Bemidji (Andersen, Takkunen, Vincent, Yartz) 1:42.89.

100 Back: 1-MacGregor (Crookston) 1:01.77. Bemidji Results: 3-Knutson 1:04.54; 6-Thompson 1:07.10.

100 Breast: 1-Nelson (TRF) 1:09.51. Bemidji Results: 3-Mess 1:12.12.

400 Free Relay: 1-Bemidji (Andersen, Takkunen, Vincent, Yartz) 3:45.53.

Related Topics: SWIMMING AND DIVING
Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at sports@bemidjipioneer.com.
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