With the regular season winding down, high school swimmers are starting to gear up for the final races of the season.
For the Havre Blue Ponies, those races come in two weeks at the all-class state meet in Butte. But before the Ponies get to Butte, they had one last meet in which to prepare. And in many ways, they took full advantage.
The Pony boys and girls were at the Carroll College pool Saturday for the prestigious Helena Invitational, and while they faced off against some of the best individual swimmers in Montana, they made the most of their last regular season meet.
Team scores weren’t reported, but the Pony girls did extremely well. None of the HHS boys placed in the top six in an individual event or relay, but the Pony boys still swam hard. Meanwhile, the girls got outstanding performances across the board.
Blue Pony senior Kacie Johnson had a big day in the pool, recording a third-place finish in the 50-meter freestyle and a fourth-place in the 100 free. Johnson finished the 50 free in a time of 27.27 and the 100 in a time of 58.98. Megan Obrecht also gave the Ponies a lift with a fourth-place finish in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:12.74, while the HHS relay team of Obrecht, Brooke Jappe, Kacie Johnson and Katie Johnson finished fifth in 200 Medley Relay.
Megan Malisani also swam well in the grueling 500 free, while Obrecht had a strong showing in the 100 butterfly.
On the boys side, Evan Flathers had strong showings in both the 50 free and the 100 free, while Greg Rhines and Derek Van Dessel swam well in the 200 free.
The HHS boys and girls now have two weeks to train for the all-class state meet, which will be held Feb. 11-12 in Butte.