The weather may be cold and snowy outside, but the water will be warm for the Havre High swim teams this weekend.
The Blue Pony boys and girls will be in Great Falls Saturday for a meet with the CMR Rustlers and Great Falls High Bison at the Bison Pool in the Swarthout Fieldhouse.
Havre has seen plenty of the Bison and Rustlers this season, with both Great Falls teams competing at last month’s Havre Invitational, as well as the Ponies having already competed in two meets in Great Falls last month as well. So HHS knows the kind of competition it will be up against this Saturday.
The Ponies come into Saturday’s meet riding high. At last weekend’s Class A Invite in Havre, the Pony girls out-scored defending Class A state champion Billings Central to take first-place honors, while the HHS boys finished a solid second behind the Rams.
Individually, Havre is getting good times from all of its swimmers. On the boys side, veterans like Nick Rhines, Desmond Fialkosky and Taylor Riphenburg are leading the way, while the likes of Bryant O’Leary and young Josh Price have also excelled so far this season.
The HHS girls are getting balanced efforts as well. Lieza Reighard and Morgan Jappe have been consistent all season long, while youthful swimmers like Megan Smith and Jackie Martin have added to Havre’s depth, which is also bolstered by swimmers like McKenna Barkus, Skylar Vukasin, Larissa Price and Samantha French.
Another constant for both HHS teams, and one that will certainly help against Class AA competition this weekend, has been the Pony relay teams. Havre is especially strong in the freestyle relays, but head coach Chris Inman has also put together tough 200 Medley Relay teams as well. Saturday’s meet in Great Falls will be another important one for the Blue Ponies as they hit the stretch run of their season. After the races in Great Falls, Havre will have just two meets left before the Montana State Swimming Championships, Feb. 8-9 in Hardin.
The Ponies’ matchup with the Bison and Rustlers will start at 12 p.m. Saturday in Great Falls. As of press time Friday, the meet was still a go.