By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre Blue Pony swim team sees them at every invitational, and they will see them again this weekend.
The Ponies will swim at the Great Falls Duals Friday against Great Falls High and C.M. Russell.
"We see them at every meet we go to," said first-year head coach Chris O'Donnell.
At the Havre Invitational, held Dec. 11, both the boys and the girls teams beat both Great Falls schools.
At the dual meet, however, the Ponies will be scored according to their points tallied per team, not an overall total of the meet.
"I think the boys have a great chance of beating both of the teams," O'Donnell said.
The boys are led by Tyler Croft, Ryan Bennett, Nick Porter, and Clif Cunningham.
"Last year, the boys placed second, so, hopefully, they can duplicate that. I think the girls can improve on their finish from last year," O'Donnell said. "All the girls have really put their noses to the grindstone."
Great Falls High boasts a tough girls' team.
Maureen Porter, Erin Lynch, and Elizabeth Stuker have been working hard over the break.
"Basically, we have been working on technique and lost of conditioning," O'Donnell said.
The entire team will travel this weekend, giving everyone an opportunity, including putting some kids in some different events than to what they are accustom.
"It is a great opportunity because I get take the whole team to the meet," O'Donnell said. "Everybody get to swim in individual events as well as the relays."
The team will travel to Bozeman for an invitational Saturday.
The biggest change will be the pool size. The Bozeman pool is 50 yards, compared to the 25-yard pool in which the kids have been swimming.
"That just means less turns for us," O'Donnell joked. "But this will be an opportunity to see the talent out there and to see the teams at their potential to see what we will come against at state."
In the girls' 200 free style relay, Maria Gilleece, Kathy McShane, Stuker, and Christy Franson will compete.
Lynch, Porter, Gilleece, and Cara Holmquist will compete in the girls' 400 free.
Bennett, Croft, Porter, and Donovan Ewing will compete in the boys' 400 free relay.