By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
No matter what most people in Class A swimming might think, the words "property of Havre High swim team" do not appear on the state boys and girls team championship trophies. But there probably should be.
The Ponies begin their quest for an unprecedented fifth-straight boys and girls team titles on Saturday when they travel to Kalispell to open the 2003 season.
"It's the same schedule just a different year," said HHS head Chris Inman of the traditional opening meet.
Hopefully for Inman and the Ponies, it will also be the same results this year. With several top swimmers returning on both teams, the possibility of a "five-peat" is very real.
The Havre High girls were picked as the favorite in Class A, with 28 swimmers on the girls team, and strong swimmers like Gwen Porter, Kasie Teske and Danielle Barton.
"We have eight senior girls and we should be able to put together some good relays," Inman said. "They're favored to win it again. I don't know if it's a good thing, but if they swim up to their capabilities they'll be fine."
The HHS boys suffered wholesale losses to graduation. Gone are Ryan Gilbreath, Joey Howland, Tyler Thompson, Chris Chandler and Mario Pizzini.
However, state champion Scott Robinson returns to shoulder much of the load and bring leadership to a boys team with several new faces.
"The boys are ranked third because we don't know what we have," Inman said. "When we get to state, we should be right there. Scott is going to have to be a big leader and we're looking for big things from Bryden Vukasin and Kevin Friede."
Inman is particularly excited about this weekend to see her team in competition for the first time this season.
"We've been working on starts, turns and stroke technique," Inman said. "I am anxious to see how they react in competition, especially with all the young kids and newcomers. I'm just excited to see our kids to swim."