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

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