Blue Pony swimmers looking for fourth consecutive state title
The Havre High swim team has big fat target on their speedos. No it isn't a new fashion statement, rather it's a symbolic target that signifies that the Ponies are the team everyone is aiming to knock off at this weekend's Class A State Swim meet in Hardin.
After winning the last three Class A titles in both boys and girls, the rest of Class A would like nothing better than to see the Ponies bid for a "four-peat" end.
They've all been gunning for us all year," said head coach Chris Inman of the rest of Class A. "Hardin's came after us hard at every meet this year, but our kids have risen to the challenge. Hopefully, we can do it again."
Winning a fourth straight title isn't out of the question for either the boys or girls teams. Havre has qualified 27 swimmers for the meet which was a bit of a surprise to Inman.
"It was way more than I expected," Inman said. "It was harder this year to qualify for the meet, but the kids came out and just swam faster."
Inman has high hopes for her boys squad. The Pony boys have been dominant this year.
"For the boys, our points should come from a mixture of relays and individuals events," Inman said.
Individually, Scott Robinson has a chance at winning the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. The 50 free is usually the most competitive individual event and Robinson has been right there in every race this season. Other possible placers include Mario Pizzini in the 100 breaststroke, Chris Chandler in the 100 and 200 freestyle, Ryan Gilbreath in 100 backstroke and Joey Howland in the 100 freestyle. All three of the boys relay teams have been consistent placers as well this season.
The competition on the girls side is a little tougher. Inman hopes for some individual placers from Kasie Teske and Rachel Hanson in the 50 freestyle, Danielle Barton in the 100 backstroke and Gwen Porter in the 100 freestyle, but the relays will be key for the girls.
"For the girls, the majority of our points need to come from our relays," Inman said. "Our relays need to finish in the top six."
Teske, Hanson, Porter and Barton will team for two of the relays and have the ability to finish in the top six which is key.
"Our times are really comparable to other state times," Inman said. "We're looking for placing, we need to have kids place as high as they can."
Inman admits she is more nervous than her kids about the weekend. If there are any jitters from her team she isn't seeing it.
"We've had some great practices," Inman said. "The kids are really up for it. They're really excited and ready to compete."
The meet begins today at 11 a.m. with the preliminaries taking place. The finals take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. in Hardin.