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UPDATE: NHRA honors BIR owner Jed Copham's memory - Dead at 46, Copham was innovator at race track, association president says

Girls Swimming and Diving: Warriors race to opening-night win

Brainerd Warrior Gabby VanHorn swims the breaststroke in the 200 medley relay against Bemidji at the Brainerd High School pool Tuesday, Aug. 28. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Warriors 126.5, Bemidji 59.5

Key: Warriors grabbed top 3 spots in four events

Overall: Brd 1-0, Bem 0-1

Next: Brainerd hosts St. Cloud Apollo 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30

Dan Anderson knew his Brainerd Warriors had talent. He just wasn't sure if they were racers.

Jacquilyn Rude showed everybody she and her Brainerd Warriors teammates were race ready Tuesday, Aug. 28, leading to a 126.5-59.5 season-opening victory over the Bemidji Lumberjacks at Brainerd High School.

Rude erased an 8-yard deficit on the final leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay and then created a sizable lead leading to an almost two-second victory. It was Rude's fourth win of the night as she also captured the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and helped the 200 free relay to first.

"We have to go a lot of second, third and fourths, but today we managed a 1-2 in the 500 and I think we 1-2-3'd them in the 100, which was a total surprise because they have good sprinters," Anderson said. "Our girls just stepped up and raced."

The foursome of Hannah Tatge, Teagan Rudstrom, Jenna Host and Rude kept close with Bemidji's top relay team for the first three legs and then Rude hit the water and close wasn't a factor as she caught her Bemidji opponent Nicki Son after the first 50 yards and then distanced herself.

"I was trying to beat or just tie the other girl next to me," Rude said. "I really just wanted to have a good finish for the first meet of the season. When I caught her I was feeling pretty tired, but pretty good. I couldn't really feel my arms so I don't know what happened."

Rude opened her season with a terrible start, but pulled off a 0.11-second victory over Rudstrom in the 50 free. Sidney Miller finished third as it was one of four events that Brainerd swept the top three spots.

"When I jumped in, I was like, 'Oh no. My start is really bad. I have to make up for everything,'" Rude said. "So I kind of just kicked and tried my best to keep up with everyone. I ended up coming out first, which I didn't expect at all."

Rude said her goal is to break the school record in the 50 free this season and Anderson said that's doable.

"It is," Anderson added. "She was about a half a second off. She put a good summer in and she is so much stronger than she was last year. She works hard."

After a lengthy diving competition, which was won by Brainerd's Izzy Olson, Rude posted a two-second win in the 100 freestyle with Hannah Tatge and Rudstrom finishing second and third, respectively.

Rude then anchored the winning 200 free relay with Tatge, Rudstrom and Madelynn Gibbons.

"Mentally, I didn't expect tonight to go as well as it did," Rude said. "I had my team support, which was really nice."

Brainerd opened with a win in the 200 medley relay, which rostered Isabelle Prozinski, Gabby VanHorn, Gibbons and Miller.

Gibbons corralled the win in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:27.54. Jenna Host won the 500 free in 5:51.82 with Gibbons in second.

Brainerd put Bemidji away with a sweep of the backstroke, led by Prozinski's winning time of 1:07.75 and another sweep in the breaststroke, which was won by VanHorn's 1:18.34.

"I've been really impressed in practice," Anderson said. "I knew we had talent, it's just that you want to see if they would race and for the most part I was pretty happy. It's the first meet and every kid is different. Some kids start out slow and build toward the end and others start out really fast. I was just happy with the way we raced and we are deeper than I thought we were."

Brainerd 126.5, Bemidji 59.5

200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Isabelle Prozinski, Gabby VanHorn, Madelynn Gibbons, Sidney Miller) 2:01.8; 3-Brainerd (Sophie Exsted, Anna Just, Macey Whitlock, Chandler Niemeyer) 2:07.45

200 freestyle: 1-Abby Yartz (Bem) 2:07.58, 2-Hannah Tatge (Brd) 2:09.87, 3-Jenna Host (Brd) 2:09.88, 5-Ellie Mattson (Brd) 2:21.15

200 individual medley: 1-Gibbons 2:27.54, 3-Whitlock 2:33.10, 4-Exsted 2:34.80

50 freestyle: 1-Jacquilyn Rude (Brd) 26.55, 2-Teagan Rudstrom (Brd) 26.66, 3-Miller 27.52

Diving: 1-Izzy Olson (Brd) 166.40, 3-Emma Korhonen (Brd) 162.85, 6-Ella Hannah (Brd) 117.70

100 butterfly: 1-Abby Termont (Bem) 1:09.21, 2-Libby Zemke (Brd) 1:12.80, 3-VanHorn 1:13.13, 6-Mira Strong (Brd) 1:14.98

100 freestyle: 1-Rude 56.64, 2-Tatge 58.86, 3-Rudstrom 49.38

500 freestyle: 1-Host 5:51.82, 2-Gibbons 6:03.36, 6-Miller 6:26.45

200 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Tatge, Rudstrom, Gibbons, Rude) 1:48.15; 3-Brainerd (Whitlock, Miller, Host, Niemeyer) 1:52.31

100 backstroke: 1-Prozinski 1:07.75, 2-Exsted 1:09.51, 3-Mattson 1:10.78

100 breaststroke: 1-Vanhorn 1:18.34, 2-Just 1:20.05, 3-Hallie Kruse (Brd) 1:21.38

400 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Tatge, Host, Rudstrom, Rude) 3:58.79; 3-Brainerd (Vanhorn, Miller, Prozinski, Whitlock) 4:15.61

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856
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