The Perham/New York Mills swimming and diving team finished third at the Bemidji Triangular on Sept. 10 in Bemidji. The Yellowjackets continued to show improvement in their second competitive meet of the season.
Bemidji finished first with 543 points, while Thief River Falls was second with 468 points and Perham/NYM came in with 344 points.
Perham head coach Jensen Maiden was happy with the team's growth from the first competitive meet to the second one.
"The girls had another great meet in Bemidji," Maiden said in an email. "Almost everybody had a at least one personal best, and we saw a lot of improvement in our technique and stamina from last week."
It was the first meet of the season for the Perham/NYM divers and two-time state participant Dena Fischer found herself on top of the podium. Fischer finished first overall by a wide margin with a score of 208.95. It marked the first varsity competition for Brittney Lorentz, Madison Ruther and Avery McAllister. Lorentz finished fourth, while Ruther was fifth and McAllister came in sixth place.
Perham/NYM's Irene Mursu came in first for the Yellowjackets in the 100 breaststroke. She out-touched a competitor at the last second for the win. She qualified for sections as well in the event with a time of one minute and 18.49 seconds.
The team of Olivea McDonald, Ellie Smith, Mursu and Hannah Lung came in fourth place at 2:11.50 of the 200 medley relay to start the event. Oakley McNair was the top Perham/NYM finisher in the 200 freestyle at 2:37.14, while Kaydi Mursu came in eighth place at 2:57.97 in the 200 individual medley. McDonald took third in the 50 freestyle at 28.87.
Irene Mursu earned a third place finish in the 100 butterfly at 1:11.99, while Kaydi Mursu came in seventh in the 100 freestyle at 1:08.72. McDonald came in sixth of the 500 freestyle at 6:33.95, while the team of McNair, Ellie Smith, Lucy Schultz and Mursu finished at 2:02.14.
Lucie Meyer came in third at 1:18.85 in the 100 backstroke. Perham/NYM closed out with a fifth place finish in the 400 freestyle relay behind the efforts of McDonald, McNair, Meyer and Kaydi Mursu at 4:51.71.
The Yellowjackets added five more section qualifying times to their team's resume for the 2019 season.
Maiden said the coaching staff is thrilled with the direction the season is heading in at this time.
"We are excited to see what the girls do in Park Rapids," Maiden said. "We have have some really hard work ahead of us, as we try to build up some strength."
The Yellowjackets compete in Saturday at Park Rapids Area with diving beginning at 9 a.m. and swimming starting at noon on Sept. 14.