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Chris Murphy, Published November 15 2012

Moorhead enjoying a prolific year in the pool

Moorhead - There’s something afloat with the Moorhead girls swimming and diving team. The Spuds have an individual and a relay team competing in today’s Minnesota Class 2A state swimming and diving meet in Minneapolis, and they have broken records along the way.

“This has been the best girls team I’ve ever coached at Moorhead, and I’ve been on the staff since 1997,” Moorhead coach Pat Anderson said. “It was a record-breaking season for us.”

Kenya Arends became the first state qualifier for Moorhead since Grace Lamb in 2007. Arends qualified in the 200-yard freestyle in which she broke a school record.

It’s been over a decade since the Spuds have had a relay team qualify for state until Arends, Abbie Gerdes and sisters Sophia and Ellyn Frohberg qualified in the 200 freestyle relay. They set school records in the 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

Throw in a school diving record set by Maren Seljevold and Gerdes’ school record in the 400 individual medley this season, and it adds up to a memorable season for the Spuds.

“From the very beginning of the season, we knew we had something special,” Anderson said. “We’ve seen it coming for a few years and we realized it in our first dual meet when we challenged West Fargo. We’ve never been in their caliber. The girls made this season everything it could be.”

This season may not be the only one this group makes memorable. Arends and Sophia Frohberg are freshmen and Ellyn Frohberg is a sophomore.

“It’s fun to be a part of,” Arends said. “Knowing we could do this for the next three years and after is really cool. I’m kind of overwhelmed. I didn’t expect to make it this year at all. I think we can keep going.”

There’s never a birth of a young program without there being an upperclassman to hold it all together. Gerdes is that upperclassman.

“We’ve been working up to this point for a really long time,” Gerdes said. “It feels really good to see our team accomplish so much.”

Gerdes may be a senior, but she has the wide eyes of a freshman in her first trip to state.

“It’s a new experience for all of us, so we’re experiencing it together,” Gerdes said. “Our team next year is going to be really good. We’ll probably have people going to state. This season has been our best season in a really long time. Our work ethic paid off in the end.”

Anderson does not overlook the time his captain put in for the youth movement happening at Moorhead.

“This team really set up with the work of Abbie Gerdes,” Anderson said. “She’s the one that five or six years ago was the one that buckled down, became dedicated and committed. A lot of girls are currently doing what they’ve been doing because they are following in her footsteps. She provided awesome leadership for the rest of the girls to follow and set the stage. I give Abbie a lot of credit for everything that has happened.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548