Each and every year, the annual Class A Invite marks the turning point in the Havre High swim team's season.
The meet rotates back and forth between Havre and Hardin, and Saturday, the Blue Ponies welcomed in the defending Class A state champion Billings Central Rams and the Hardin Bulldogs for the 2013 Class A Invite.
The meet is important because it's the one chance for all three Class A team's to go head-to-head in the water, and it's a chance for the Blue Ponies to see where they measure up with the state meet now a month away.
And after Saturday's meet at the Havre Community Pool, the Blue Ponies found out they stack up very well.
The Havre girls scored a whopping 501 points to Billings Central's 422 in an exciting meet that featured some great individual performances. Hardin was a distant third in the girls meet with 159 points.
On the boys side, the Ponies earned 331 points, while Central tallied 434. Hardin came in third with 258.
"I thought we swam really well," an elated Havre Head coach Chris Inman said. "During the holiday break, it's hard to get work in because of kids being gone and time issues, so coming out of it, I just thought we swam really well and I'm so very proud of all of our kids."
Inman noted performances by Desmond Fialkosky, Josh Price, Morgan Jappe and Alara Vogel as really standout performances. But she also said all of her swimmers came up big for the Ponies in one race or another.
"I'm really proud of every one of the kids, they all did so much for the team," Inman said. "It was a great meet and the kids swam great. We already have a little over a month before state, so we can use this meet as a confidence builder and just keep working hard."
The Pony swim teams will be back in the water this Saturday when they travel to Great Falls for the Great Falls Invitational.
Note: For full results from the Class A Invite, see Tuesday's Havre Daily News.