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Hi-Line Athlete Profile: Ben Seigel, Havre Swimming

HHS's Seigel loves the fast lane

For some people, a love of water and therefore, a love of swimming comes naturally. Havre High's Ben Seigel, a senior for the Blue Pony swim team, just happens to be one of those people.

Seigel has been a member of the Havre High swim team since his freshman season but in truth, his love of swimming goes back a lot longer than that. He said from a very early age he loved to swim. He was taught by his parents, and his passion for the sport took off from there.

Yet, this will be Seigel’s final season competing for the Ponies, and with the state swim meet just around the corner, he and the Ponies are working as hard as they can to prepare and attempt to improve upon last season's second-place showing for the girls team and third-place finish for the boys.

Over the past few years Seigel has proven himself to be a valuable member of the boys team and last season at the state meet, he played a key role in the boys team notching an 11th place finish in the boys 400-yard free relay. That finish went a long way toward helping the Ponies secure a third-place finish, which was particularly impressive considering that Seigel was one of just two upperclassmen on the team, the rest were freshmen.

All last season, Seigel worked to get his time in the 100 freestyle under one minute and while he was not able to do it in the individual competition at state, he posted a very strong time of 59.2 seconds in the opening leg of the 400 free relay to help boost his team to the solid finish.

This season, Seigel, who competed in both track and wrestling briefly during his four years at Havre High, has picked up right where he left off. In fact, his season got off to a spectacular start, when he finished first in the 50 free at the Havre Invitational as well as fourth in the 100 free. He also helped the 400 free relay team to a fifth-place finish.

Starting with his great beginning to the season, Seigel has put together a very solid senior campaign that he wants to finish off in a memorable way. At this point, the Ponies have no other meets besides state. They are off this weekend before they travel to Missoula for state, which will take place Feb. 13-14.

And even though the numbers in the boys program have waned over the past few years, Seigel is optimistic about the future and his team's chances of performing well again at state.

But before the Ponies and Seigel head to state next weekend, the Havre Daily News caught up with the senior before practice to ask him five questions.

HDN: What is it about swimming that made you want to do it throughout high school?

Seigel: "I just love it. I have always loved to swim. My parents taught me when I was really little. And that's all I've done."

HDN: What do you enjoy the most about being on the swim team?

Seigel: "Well, (I enjoy) the swimming part the most. But other than that, probably the teamwork. Being around your friends and other good kids. You know, kids that are honest and not cheaters. It's good stuff."

HDN: What has been your most memorable moment as a Pony swimmer?

Seigel: "Nothing in particular, just being around the team. You know, just all the funny experiences you have on the bus trips, people screaming at you while you are in the water, things like that."

HDN: Why do you think the number of boys swimmers has dropped and what can be done to turn that around?

Seigel: "I think there is a lot of pull from other sports like wrestling and basketball. Our wrestlers have been doing extremely well and the basketball team finally has gotten good again, so there is pull from other team groups, and we are just not pulling kids right now. We have a new coach (Jill Cammon) and she is awesome, but she is not well known right now. And I think until she gets her name out there a little more, our numbers will be a little low. That's just going to happen."

HDN: What is the goal at state for you as an individual and for the team?

Seigel: "I want us to be competitive. I don't know how we will do this year because of our numbers, but I want us to get up and have some of our guys place or put points up on the board. Personally, I would like to get in the top 10 or top six.”

 

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