The Havre High boys and girls swim teams have already competed in several big meets this season. And the Ponies have several more to go.
But no meet may hold as much importance as the one the Blue Ponies traveled to on Friday.
The HHS swim teams were in Hardin Friday for the annual Class Invitational. It's the only time HHS goes head-to-head with rivals Billings Central and Hardin before the Class A state meet in February.
And the Ponies did quite well Friday, but so did the defending Class A champion Billings Central Rams.
HHS teams finished second to Central in both meets, with the Pony girls scoring 137 points to Central's 191. The HHS boys scored 142 points while the Rams tallied 193 points. The Hardin teams finished third. The Bulldogs got 100 points on the boys side and 113 on the girls side.
Billings Central may have run way with both team scores, but the Ponies certainly kept pace individually.
On the boys side, HHS got strong performances from a host of swimmers.
Courtlan Vukasin earned HHS's highest finish with a second place in the 100-yard breaststroke. Vukasin finished with a time of 1:14.39. Desmond Fialkosky also placed fifth in the race while Paul Jeffery took seventh. Vukasin looked equally as good by finishing second in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:41.02. Teammate Taylor Riphenburg was third with a time of 2:47.01.
Fialkosky paced a group of Havre boys in the 500-yard freestyle with a third-place finish. Fialkosky finished in 6:38.55, while Nick Rhines took fourth at 6:38.80 and Derek Van Dessel was fifth at 7:21.42.
Rhines was sharp in the 200 free as well. He finished fourth with a time of 2:20.43, while Van Dessel came in seventh.
The freestyle was also good to Havre's Jimmy Cox who placed third in the 100 with a time of 1:02.43. Sawyer Zugel added a sixth-place finish in the same race.
In the super-fast 50 free, Evan Flathers continued to impress, finishing third with a time of 24.65. Zugel was seventh and Cox was ninth. Flathers also grabbed a third-place finish in the 1000 backstroke with a time of 1:08, 86, while Riphenburg took seventh.
As expected, the HHS relay teams were in good form. Havre won the boys 400 relay and another HHS squad took fourth. The Ponies also placed third and fifth in the 200 medley and fourth and fifth in the 200 free.
Plenty of Pony girls shined as well Friday in Hardin.
To no one's surprise, Megan Obrecht won the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:15.11. Morgan Jappe earned a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:27.40. Obrecht also placed fourth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:44.78.
Katie Johnson and Lieza Reighard placed in multiple events too.
Johnson finished second in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:14.67 while Carona Sprinkle finished fourth at 1:41.19. Johnson added a third-place finish in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:15.71.
Reighard placed fourth in the 50 free with a time of 29.24 and Larissa Price took seventh., Reighard added a fourth-place finish in the 200 free at 2:33.77 and Jordyn Eastlick took sixth in the same race. McKenna Barkus added an eighth-place finish.
Price starred as well, finishing second in the lengthy 500 free with a time of 7:11.08. Sprinkle was third at 7:11.47 and Eastlick took fifth. In the 100 free, HHS got a sixth-place finish by Skylar Vukasin, while Anna Kaercher was seventh and Korb was eighth.
In the relays, the HHS girls were led by third and fourth-place finishes in the 200 free. The Ponies finished third in the 400 free and fourth in the 200 medley.
The Pony swim teams return to the pool on Saturday when they dual Great Falls High and CMR in Great Falls.