GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING: Schmidt completes undefeated season with section diving title

BEMIDJI — Mady Schmidt had already gone 10-for-10 in the regular season entering Friday’s Section 8A diving finals at Bemidji High School.

The BHS junior scored a 410.85 over 11 dives to capture the section’s individual diving title. She became the first Bemidji girls diver to do so since Kylei Grosfield in 2014.

“Just knowing that all my hard work this season paid off, it just feels amazing,” Schmidt said.

The diver became accustomed to her position atop the podium. Schmidt took first place in each of the Lumberjacks’ 10 regular-season dual meets and broke her personal-record score four separate times.

“My approaches have been getting a lot better since the beginning of the season, and from last season,” she said. “Good technique, form, and just staying tight on all of my entries. I think that was a really big factor in how well I did today.”

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Schmidt improved her score from last year’s section meet, where she posted a 377.6 to place fourth and qualified for state as one of the section’s top four divers. She had hoped to better her ninth-place finish at this season’s state meet, but she will not get the opportunity. The Minnesota State High School League opted to not hold post-section competition for fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although Schmidt will not have a chance to compete alongside the top divers in the state, she’s thankful she had the opportunity to vie for a section crown.

“I’m very fortunate for getting this season. It was very up in the air whether I was going to be able to have a season or not,” Schmidt said. “So just the fact that we were able to compete, and that I went undefeated for the whole season, it’s great.”

Full results from Friday’s diving meet will be available at the conclusion of Saturday’s swimming finals.

Bemidji will return to its home pool at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, when the swimming portion of the Section 8A finals takes place. No prelims will be held. All events will be timed finals, and results will be combined with the two other section sites to determine the overall results.

The meet is being held across three locations due to pandemic restrictions, with Detroit Lakes and Warroad serving as the other host sites.

Winona diver has record-setting section meet

MANKATO — Winona’s Issara Schimdt had a record-setting day during the Section 1A diving meet on Thursday. Schmidt won the section title and her …

Schmidt won the section title and her score of 510.10 for 11 dives broke a trio of records. Schmidt set the Section 1A record, the Winona team record and the Mankato East pool record with her point total.

Schmidt won the meet by nearly 150 points. Despite her stellar effort, Schmidt will not get a chance at a state championship as there is no state swimming and diving meet this year due to COVID-19.

The four divers usually earn state berths during the section meet. Winona’s Ayanna King also had a strong meet. In her first varsity season, King placed third in the section with 307.85 points.

“It was a great night for our divers,” Winona coach Linda Whyte said.

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Austin’s Rachel Engelstad placed sixth in diving with 296.6 points.

The Section 1A meet will be held Friday. The Section 1AA swimming meet is also Friday and will feature a trio of three-team pods.

Yellowjacket swimmers prepare for section tournament

Yellowjacket swimmers and divers have spent this season focusing on individual improvements and just taking the time to appreciate every moment …

Swimmers and divers spent the last few weeks preparing for the Section 8A tournament being held Friday and Saturday in Bemidji. Head coach Jensen Maiden said that her team has had a strong season and a strong attitude this year despite all of the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the fate of their season.

“This has brought a lot of positivity because this is an opportunity that we didn’t know we were going to have,” Maiden said. “We also didn’t think we were going to make it to sections relatively unscathed.”

The Yellowjackets will be bringing a team of 11 to the section tournament. The team is made up of swimmers Shanetta Reitmeyer, Irene Mursu, Lucie Meyer, Kaydi Mursu, Lucy Schultz, Elle McDonald, Molly Meyer and Taylor Ziemke and divers:Madison Ruther,Brittney Lorentz, Avery McAllister

“We have a lot of younger girls stepping up and showing us what they are made of and that is exciting to see,” Maiden said about the showing of her younger athletes. “We had a seventh and an eighth grader qualify for sections. It is not always common for middle schoolers to qualify so that was exciting.”

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Maiden said she has seen individual improvements in a number for her players throughout the season.

“We pretty constantly had strong swims and strong time cuts. We had a good year all things considered,” Maiden said.

Maiden’s swimmers were preparing in a tapering style whereas the divers are working heavily right before the tournament. Maiden said that her team is putting in the work in the pool to be the most prepared they can be going into tournament events.

“The divers actually end up working a lot harder over the last few weeks and for the swimmers, we taper off for sections,” Maiden said. “The idea is that they get a lot of rest in between so they can store some energy so they can blast out of the gates at the section meet.”

More than anything, Maiden said that she has seen an increase in positive attitudes in the pool and out. No one was completely sure of what this season would look like for high school sports especially with schools around the area losing time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that her team is really embracing every opportunity they receive to compete and enjoy the sport they love.

“As much as the situation sucks and the extra guidelines are hard to follow I think that overall, the fact that we are here has been a really big deal,” Maiden said. “That idea that we are holding on for one more day and that at the end of the day, we have a small victory has been great for team morale.”

Sections Swimmers and Events

Shanetta Reitmeyer (12) 200 IM & 100 breast

Irene Mursu (11) 200 free & 500 free

Madison Ruther (11) diving

Lucie Meyer (10) 200 free & 100 back

Kaydi Mursu (10) 200 free & 100 fly

Lucy Schultz (10) 200 IM & 100 fly

Brittney Lorentz (9) diving

Avery McAllister (9) diving

Elle McDonald (8) 200 IM & 100 back

Molly Meyer (8) 200 IM & 100 back

Taylor Ziemke (7) 50 free & 100 free

Surf-lit: “Surfing is pain. It shouldn’t be easy. Enlightenment through self-flagellation…”

“I look at guys walking down the beach with their new boards with forgiving rails, gentle rocker, subdued outlines. And I think to myself, they don’t …

“I look at guys walking down the beach with their new boards with forgiving rails, gentle rocker, subdued outlines. And I think to myself, they don’t understand.”

I rode my big board on the Point today. It was stormy, hot.

Summer weather. Dark clouds marched out to the horizon on the humid offshore breeze. The waves were only small but had a perfect angle. Little rights ran down the cobblestones almost to the keyhole.

Vulnerable learners pressed in against seasoned locals and chirping groms to get their slice.

I sat at the top of the pack, five metres further out, and had my pick.

I can do that on this board. I can do that because it’s my Point.

Let me tell you about this board though. She’s big. Fat. Brown and battered. It’s almost like she’s been shaped in reverse – a long narrow nose with hard rails that softens out into a fat ol’ ass. Less a tear drop then a honey blob.

She’s hard to paddle. Can’t turn for shit. Has an old school raised, fibreglass leash bridge that’s broken more feet than a Chinese slipper. But the roll-in-fade-to-bottom-turn, when one unlocks all the right elements, is better than any air reverse or cheese whiz.

When people ask me about the board I like to say, she’s ugly but she’s mine. And I pat her like a faithful dog.

That’s the secret, though. About this thing of ours. It shouldn’t be easy. Surfing is pain. Enlightenment through self-flagellation.

I look at guys walking down the beach with their new boards with forgiving rails, gentle rocker, subdued outlines. And I think to myself, they don’t understand.

That’s why I take any wave I want.

To hell with ‘em.

They just don’t understand.

Anyway I’m out on the Point and I see a guy with a board like mine. Big. Old. Ugly. Shit spray. A real dreadnought. I watch him get a couple, stalking the crowd, swooping in on his prey like a lion in the grass.

We paddle past each other and exchange a knowing nod. Krishna catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror.

Right on.

It comes time for my last wave. I wait for something special. One stands up on the indicator. Not the biggest wave of the day, but I can see in its line that it’s going to run.

I swing and begin to paddle. The crowds part, like they know they should.

All except for one.

The guy.

I see him turn and spin, too.

You can’t miss his board, even from a mile away. He drops in. On my wave.

Usually I’d be flicking my board at any interloper, aiming for their temple.

But not with this guy.

There’s something about him.

We ride the wave together, doing crossovers, bumping rails the whole time. Stern looks on our faces, eyes only down the line. But we vibe in each other’s presence. Connected on a different level.

Finally the wave closes out on the end section. We straighten out and I ride it in on my belly.

But not the guy.

Instead of heading for the key hole he rides his board up over the cobblestone rocks. I hear a crunch as he comes to a halt. He jumps off the board casually, confidently, like he’s done it a thousand times before.

That was great surfing, I say as we walk over the remaining rocks and up onto the sandy beach.

Thanks man.

I like your board.

Oh, this old thing. It’s a piece of shit. He throws it to the sand. But I love it.

Sounds like mine! I say. I paid $50 for it at a garage sale.

I found mine on the side of the road.

Nice.

Check this out. He flips his board over to reveal three mis-matched FCS fins, all barely screwed in.

Oh yeah? I show mine – a home-made quad set up with two of the fins missing.

Damm.

He smiles.

What about this?

He pulls off the gaffa tape wrapped across the nose to reveal the entire top couple of inches is completely snapped off.

I show him the same tape holding together what’s left of my board’s swallow tail.

We both laugh.

Yeah man, I don’t care about this board at all, he says. Or any of my boards. The shitter the better. Watch this.

He looks around as if to make sure no one is watching, then pulls a pocket knife from his leash and starts stabbing holes in the board.

Bam. Bam. Bam.

Soon it looks like a piece of Swiss cheese. Bam!

Unreal.

I pick my board up and start punching it too. My knuckles quickly bloody, so that there’s little shards of fibreglass mottled into my skin.

Sah! Sah!

I punch out the remaining fins.

Sah!

The steady stream of people heading up and down the sandy point give us a wide berth, like a river diverting around an island.

To them we just look like two guys beating up their surfboards.

But they don’t understand.

There’s a crack of thunder in the distance. The air charges with electricity.

We both take a break, and breath the atmosphere in.

Enlightenment through self-flagellation, I say. It’s the only way.

Then the guy says, How about this?

From nowhere he pulls out a lighter and some gasoline. He pours it carefully over his board, from taped up nose to thrashed out tail.

And then he sets it alight.

For a second the flames don’t take, as if they’re hesitating. Held back by some invisible force.

But then, whoosh. Off they go.

Unreal, I say again, and I throw my board onto the flames too.

It lights up quickly in the hot offshore wind.

We sit back in the sand and watch the conflagration. The smoke carries back out across the line up. I can see the other surfers coughing and spluttering as the acrid fumes wash over them.

They don’t understand

A set rifles down the point unridden, the biggest of the day.

The gods must be pleased.

This is great, I say to the guy.

It’s so great, he responds.

This is what surfing is all about.

Then the clouds, so pregnant all afternoon, finally burst forth. We’re drenched in the downpour as the fire goes out.

The boards have burned down to a pulp now anyway. We bury what’s left of them in the sand.

Small shards still stick out, camouflaged in the yellow and brown morasse. Hopefully sharp enough to cut a foot open, or at least give someone a scare.

I nod to the guy and we go our separate ways. It feels strange walking back to the car in my board shorts with bloody knuckles and no board under my arm.

But that’s ok.

It was so good to meet this guy. So good to meet someone that finally understands.

PHOTOS: Kite-surfers put on a show near White Rock Pier

Environment Canada’s wind warning was nothing but an opportunity for more than a dozen kite-surfers Tuesday afternoon. More than a dozen surfers …
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)
More than a dozen kite surfers took advantage of high wind Tuesday afternoon. Surfers soared up to 100 feet in the air and performed tricks for spectators watching from the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photos)

Environment Canada’s wind warning was nothing but an opportunity for more than a dozen kite-surfers Tuesday afternoon.

More than a dozen surfers peppered the White Rock waterfront, with some getting massive air and performing tricks for spectators on the White Rock Pier.

Kite surfers are going INSANE on White Rock beach right now. Massive air, grinding the pier railings, you name it.

What a show!! pic.twitter.com/MhDdQbkjw3

— Aaron Hinks (@aaron_hinks) October 13, 2020

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