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GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING: Schmidt dives back to state, Jacks place 8th at sections

Bemidji High School senior Mady Schmidt will be the lone representative for the girls swimming and diving team, as she placed second in diving during the Section 8AA meet on Saturday in Sartell.

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Bemidji Lumberjacks

SARTELL -- Mady Schmidt will be making another trip to the state meet this season.

The Bemidji High School senior will be the lone representative for the girls swimming and diving team, as she placed second in diving during the Section 8AA meet on Saturday in Sartell.

“Today, she was off to a slow start,” BHS head coach Woody Leindecker said. “But she’s experienced. She’s a pro. It’s one dive at a time, and she rallied for second (place). Now she’s going to (state) again.”

Schmidt finished with a score of 383.20 on the diving board, which put her second in the field and behind only Brainerd’s Izzy Olson (397.35). The top four divers qualify for state, as do the top two swimmers in each event.

As a team, Bemidji fell to eighth in the standings against newfound competition at the Class AA level.


“The team of 23 we brought, only five have section meet experience,” Leindecker said. “It’s very overwhelming. It’s really not a level playing field because all these teams in our section are year-round club swimmers. That’s not what we’re about in Bemidji because kids play different sports.”

While Schmidt is the only Lumberjack to advance, she wasn’t the only one from BHS to take part in Saturday’s finals.

Kennedy Olson joined Schmidt on the diving board and placed 13th with a score of 273.55. Abigail Daman swam in two events, placing 13th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:16.52) and 16th in the 200-yard IM (2:32.41).

A trio of Bemidji relay teams took eighth in their respective heats.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Marley Ueland, Ava Lietz, Emily Vincent and Mya Lundeen finished in 2:04.81. The grouping of Daman, Kylie Donat, Lundeen and Molly Matetich finished the 200 freestyle relay in 1:47.36. And, finally, Ryan Gaskins, Abi Lietz, Donat and Daman wrapped up the 400 free relay in 3:58.26.

The section meet marked the final chapter in the careers of seniors Marlee Bieber, Lietz and Vincent. Schmidt rounds out the senior class but has one more meet ahead of her.

The Class AA diving prelims begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Should she advance to the finals, Schmidt will return at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20.

“She went down in her sophomore year and did very well. Of course, last year there wasn’t a state meet,” Leindecker said. “… You can’t coach experience. Knowledge is everything. Once you’ve been there, I think the return trip will be a lot easier for her.”


Team Results

1-Buffalo 376; 2-Sartell-St. Stephen 355; 3-Moorhead 325; 4-Elk River 271; 5-Brainerd 268; 6-St. Michael-Albertville 237; 7-Rogers 179; 8-Bemidji 92.

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