The Havre High boys and girls swim teams haven’t competed since Dec. 17. But the Ponies will be back in action on Friday morning, in one of their most important meets of the season.
Havre High travels to Hardin to face off against Billings Central and the host Hardin Bulldogs in the Class A Invitational. It’s the
only meet this season where the Ponies will go head-to-head with the only two schools they compete against for Class A swimming titles.
All three teams are coming off long layoffs, but this meet will give HHS a chance to see exactly where the Ponies stand against their two Class A rivals. A year ago, Billings Central swept the Class A state championships and the Rams are very good again this season. The Hardin boys are also tough, while HHS has balanced teams on both sides.
Havre has had an excellent first half of the season, swimming against top Class AA competition in Great Falls and Kalispell, as well as at the Havre Invitational last month. The Pony boys have gotten excellent contributions individually from senior Evan Flathers, as well as Taylor Riphenburg, Courtlan Vukasin and Derek Van Dessel. Junior Nick Rhines has also been impressive this season, and the Ponies’ relay teams look to be the best in Class A.
On the girls side, senior Megan Obrecht hasn’t lost a 100-meter breaststroke race yet, and she’s competed mostly against Class AA competitors. The Ponies also get good scoring from Katie Johnson among others, and HHS’s relay teams are also strong.
This weekend marks the start of a grueling schedule for Havre. The Ponies still have meets in Missoula, Helena and Great Falls before competing in the All-Class State Swimming Championships Feb. 10-11 back in Great Falls.