The Havre High boys and girls swim teams have just two meets left before the state meet in Butte. So from here on out, every race is critical.
The Blue Ponies start their journey towards another postseason on Saturday when they compete in the prestigious Missoula Invitational. The meet, held at the University of Montana Grizzly Pool, will feature Class AA’s Missoula Sentinel, Missoula Hellgate and Missoula Big Sky, as well as Bozeman, both Helena schools, both Great Falls schools and Kalispell-Flathead and Glacier High.
And while the Ponies have competed against top Class AA competition all season long, the depth of the Missoula Invite gives HHS a chance to really compare its times with the best swimmers in the state, as well as find out how much they need to keep improving.
The Ponies are coming off a strong showing at the Great Falls Invitational last Saturday, where Evan Flathers really stood out on the boys side, and Kacie Johnson had a big weekend for the Pony girls. But both teams come to Missoula also establishing some depth. Young swimmers like Morgan Jappe and Samantha French have really started to shine for the HHS girls, while Taylor Rippenburgh and Desmond Fialkowski are two HHS boys who have had strong outings in the pool as well.
And Saturday’s meet is great preparation for what lied ahead for the Ponies. After Missoula, Havre has just the Helena Invitational left on its regular season schedule so each race the Ponies compete in is now training and fine-tuning for the state meet, which will be held Feb. 12-13 in Butte.
The Missoula Invite gets underway Saturday Morning at the Grizzly Pool in Missoula.