BOYS SWIMMING AND DIVING: Bemidji perseveres during a week off – Bemidji Pioneer
BEMIDJI – A week off in the middle of a season is disruptive to most sports. But for swimming and diving, it can be catastrophic.
“There was a lot of anxiety (from) some of our top guys.” said Woody Leindecker, co-coach of the Bemidji High School Boys. And if we had been out of the water for nine days, which would have been the total, their season would have been over.
The loggers were prevented from using their original facility due to the decision of schools in the Bemidji area to cancel all schools and activities from January 18-22 due to COVID-19 cases and others. diseases affecting the district workforce.
Instead, BHS traveled to Fosston and Park Rapids to keep fit. It paid off when they were able to return home on Monday, notably with a meeting against Sartell-St. Stefan on Tuesday.
“In this sport, a conditioning sport, it takes forever to get (conditioned) and it doesn’t take long to lose it,” Leindecker said. “And that’s what we were looking for.”
The Jacks dropped the competition to the mighty Sabres, losing 110-57 to the BHS pool. But it was more important for the swimmers in Bemidji that they had the opportunity to maintain their stamina and continue to compete as the section meet approached.
“Coming back to our pool has been a real blessing,” said junior Walker Erickson. “It was so nice to finally swim in our pool.”
Erickson had the best day of any lumberjack, finishing first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:10.21 and the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.65. He also joined Brooks Matetich, Moses Son and Aidan Wolf to lead the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:34.67, three hundredths of a second faster than the runners-up.
Matetich was second in the 200 IM (2:16.15) and 100 butterfly (59.25). He joined Erickson, Son and Wolf to finish second in the 400 freestyle relay clocking 3:37.28.
Max Brown, Hudson Hanschen, Nick Carlson and Noah Gustafson completed Bemidji’s first two results with a second to last place in the 200 medley relay (2:23.48).
Erickson noted how practicing in unfamiliar pools has forced the Jacks to repeatedly adapt their training, as the idiosyncrasies of each pool are different.
“It was a real struggle not to have the same pool that we’re used to,” Erickson said. “We had to train elsewhere, and their pools were very different. Lighting is an important factor for your mentality and the way you run in general. And sometimes the middle (of the lane) is not where it normally is.
BHS faced a sub-optimal situation with only one home training before facing Sartell-St. Stephane. The Lumberjacks can’t wait to have their favorite pool to practice on going forward.
“It was really tough to do one practice and come back to it,” Erickson said. “And that really shows how important training is, even if it’s not in the same pool. It really sets your standards for where you will be and where you could be.
As Bemidji prepares for the Feb. 25 sections, the Jacks are just hoping they can practice uninterrupted as they prepare to taper and cut their time.
“(Our outlook is) good, as long as we can stay and have no more interruptions,” Leindecker said. “We had a mixed bag tonight. You could tell some guys were a little rusty.
Bemidji returns to competition against Sauk Center/Melrose at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 28, returning to the BHS Pool.