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Ponies anxious to dive back in

Class A Meet in Havre a prelude to changes coming to the state meet in February

 

January 4, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Hannah Lunak and the Havre High swim teams will resume their season by hosting the Class A Meet Saturday afternoon. The meet will also be senior day for the Blue Pony swimmers. The action starts at noon inside the Havre Community Pool.

When the Havre High swim teams arrive at the Montana State Swimming Championships next month in Bozeman, they'll be greeted by plenty of changes.

For the first time in high school swimming history, Montana will now have individual finals for Class A swimmers. For years, Class A competitors have competed against Class AA at the state meet, and few swimmers from Class A have been able to crack the final heats, let alone bring home medals and state championships.

However, with the addition of swimming programs around Class A in recent years, that will all change. At this year's state meet and beyond, Class A and AA swimmers will swim preliminary heats together on the first day, but on the second day, there will be a championship heat for AA and a separate championship heat for Class A competitors, thus meaning many more Class A swimmers, including plenty of standouts from Havre, will be bringing home medals and championships from Bozeman.

The relays will still be swam together, but scored separately, while the meet will continue to award top three team finishes at both the Class AA and A level.

So, with the state meet just over a month away now, the Havre Blue Ponies will jump back into the water this weekend by hosting the Class A Meet. The meet will feature the Ponies, Billings Central and Hardin. The meet rotates back and forth from Hardin to Havre, and being back at the Havre Community Pool gives the Blue Ponies a chance for a second home meet this season.

"The kids are always excited to swim in front of the hometown fans and in our pool," Coach Bill Kilgore said earlier this season. "I'd love to have the pool packed and rocking for our meets, especially for our Class A Meet in January. We have a unique pool in that it is the only metric pool any of the other teams will swim in, so it gives us a bit of a home pool advantage because the other teams aren't expecting the added length of the pool."

The Ponies will put that to the test in Saturday's meet. It's also a chance for Havre to finally get back to competition. The Ponies have been off since Dec. 15, but, with Saturday's home meet, the race to the state meet is on now.

The 2019 Class A Meet, featuring Havre, Hardin and Billings Central will get underway at 12 p.m. Saturday in the Havre Community Pool. All of the Blue Pony seniors will also be honored during the meet.

 

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