MINNEAPOLIS -- Seven swimmers from the Bemidji High School boys swimming and diving team competed in five events Saturday at the Class A state meet.
The Lumberjacks totaled 16 points, good for 22nd out of 30 scoring teams.
“They scored points, and the main goal when we get down to that venue is to see how many points we can put up on the board,” co-head coach Kristen McRae said. “The boys did well. We had some hiccups, and we had a lot of learning, first-time experiences.”
Brooks Matetich delivered the best result for the Jacks during their afternoon session at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. The junior, and the only BHS swimmer with prior state experience, clocked a time of 22.33 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle to earn 11th place in the event.
“Brooks Matetich is not a rookie,” McRae said. “He knew what to expect. He did what he needed to do. Moses Son was a first-timer and he swam very well. And the relays, outside of Brooks, they were all rookies. It was a huge learning curve for us. Based on the chatter in my van driving home, the boys are excited about next year.”
Matetich and Son, a freshman, both competed in the 100 butterfly, taking 15th (54.85) and 17th (55.18), respectively.
Son teamed up with senior Jaxon Leindecker, junior Ben Dockendorf and sophomore Walker Erickson in the 400 free relay. The group took 16th with a time of 3:27.33.
Matetich and Dockendorf, as well as juniors Quinn Knott and Aidan Wolf, took part in the 200 free relay. The team was disqualified, however, for rules violations.
Unlike most years, only finals were held and no prelims were conducted. Spectators were not permitted either due to pandemic restrictions. Half of the field competed in the afternoon session, and the other half in the evening session in order to reduce the number of people in the venue at the same time.
“The MSHSL did a great job in their organization,” McRae said. “It flowed well. It was very well put together. It was just weird. You don’t have the electricity and the natural noise coming from spectators and fans in the stands.”
Previously, Bemidji senior Aiden Saari finished 11th in the Class A state diving finals on Thursday with a score of 335.7.
Breck/Blake captured the Class A team title with 418.5 points to outpace runner-up Alexandria’s 250.