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Raider swimmers open strong

The Raider girls' swimming and diving team kicked off its season at home against Minnesota powerhouse Cretin-Derham Hall Thursday and had a strong showing, losing by a score of 111-74.

"I believe our swimmers and divers more than held their own," Raider coach Kelly Hackbarth said. "We had many quality swims, which included some personal best times. Also, most of our divers have already completed their 6 and even 11 dive lists, adding extremely to the success of our team."

The Raiders posted three first-place finishes of the night. Lindsey Bedford edged Cretin's Emily Schleif by four-hundredths of a second to win the 200 yard freestyle in 2 minutes, 3.67 seconds and Noey Anderson won the 200 individual medley by nearly six full seconds with a time of 2:20.78.

In diving, Amanda Baker led a one-two Raider finish by taking first with a score of 170.75 with teammate Kendall Tierney second with 120.

Bedford also took second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:31.62 while Anderson was second in the 100 backstroke in 1:05.56.

Emily Bedford had a pair of top three individual finishes, taking second in the 100 butterfly in 1:04.99 and third in the 200 free in 2:05.41.

Ebonee Townsend and Megan Haney finished second and third in the 50 free with times of 27.49 seconds and 27.91 seconds, respectively, while Catie Weese boosted the Raiders' team score with a third place time of 57.47 seconds in the 100 freestyle.

In the relay events, Anderson, Haney, Emily Bedford and Weese combined for a second place time of 2:01.55 in the 200 medley relay, Ronni Schoenherr, Townsend, Haney and Lindsey Bedford took second in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:50.2, and Weese, Emily Bedford, Lindsey Bedford and Anderson were second in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:56.48.

Schoenherr, Townsend, Hannah Van Valkenburgh and Shannon Grayes took third in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:14.52.

"The girls have been working hard to get in shape and display not only their dedication to the sport, but also good sportsmanship," Hackbarth said. "Thursday's home meet displayed these characteristics and got us off to a fabulous start to our season."

The Raiders' season will continue Thursday, Sept. 10 with a Big Rivers Conference dual meet at Eau Claire Memorial. They return home to host Menomonie on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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