Pony swim teams diving into a new season

Havre High has strong numbers in the pool again this winter

 

Last updated 11/30/2021 at 9:28am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre High's Aliviah Pratt powers through the water during a 2021 swim meet at the Havre Community Pool. The Blue Pony boys and girls swim teams open the new season this Saturday in Polson. Havre hosts a pair of meets in January at the Havre Community Pool.

While the weather will get cold this winter, the Havre swim teams won't be afraid to get back in the pool as they get ready for this season.

As the Blue Ponies stay indoors and dive into the season, HHS head coach Bill Kilgore just wants to see his swimmers compete hard and enjoy the sport.

"My expectation is always for the kids to enjoy the season and have fun," Kilgore said. "We're going to work hard and do the very best we can."

The HHS boys team is coming off a year with a fourth-place finish at state while the HHS girls team is coming off a sixth-place finish at state. Many swimmers will return for the Ponies this winter. Kyla Burchard returns after placing fourth in the girls 200-yard intermediate and seventh in the girls 100-yard backstroke at state. She was also a member of the relay teams that took second in the girls 400-yard freestyle relay and fourth in the girls 200-yard freestyle relay.


Grace Crantz returns for the girls team after taking 11th in the girls 100-yard backstroke and 13th in the girls 500-yard freestyle at state last season. Mackenzie Dean also returns after taking 18th in the girls 100-yard butterfly. Aliviah Pratt returns after placing seventh in the girls 500-yard freestyle at state and she was also a member of the girls 200-yard medley relay team that took fifth at state.

The HHS boys swim team also returns several swimmers from last year. Connor McKay returns after taking fourth at state in the boys 200-yard freestyle and ninth at state in the 100-yard breaststroke. McKay also swam for the boys 200-yard medley relay team that took second at state and he swam for the boys 200-yard freestyle relay team that finished fourth at state.


Hiram Cammon is back after taking fourth at state in the boys 200-yard freestyle. He also placed second as a member of the boys 200-yard medley relay team and fourth at state as a member of the boys 200-yard freestyle relay team. Wyatt Hagstrom also returns for the Ponies after taking sixth in the boys 200-yard intermediate at state. He also placed second as a member of the boys 200-yard medley relay team and second as a member of the boys 400-yard freestyle relay team. Chase Mariani also returns after placing second at state as a member of the boys 400-yard freestyle relay team.

The Ponies will also have several newcomers to the lineup this season. While it is too early to see who will make an impact, Kilgore has been impressed by swimmers such as Hailey Gingery, Lindsey Leinwand and Ada Pratt early on.

The rest of the swimming lineup will be made up of Courtney Burchard, Kaden Burnell, Amber Coleman, Nathan Gregoire, Brenna Hanson, Clara Haslem, Kate Hemmer, Tyley Hemmer, Jayla Meldrum, Katie Messinger, Allie Messinger, Nevaeh Phillips, Koby Preputin, Navelle Ramales, Willow Riggin, Carson Sandstrom, Chloe Shennum, Kylee Sternberg, Claudia Ucin, Emme Lines, Amber Coleman and Scott Woods.


With the season coming up, Kilgore looks forward to their first meet this Saturday in Polson because he will finally get to see his swimmers compete this winter.

"I always look forward to the first one just to get a gauge of where our kids are at," Kilgore said.

The Ponies will compete in several other big meets through the season. Their most anticipated meets will be held in Great Falls over the next few months. Next month, the Ponies will compete in the Great Falls relay meet and will return to Great Falls for another meet in January during a stretch where they compete in meets every weekend. But the meet that Kilgore and his team have their eyes on this season will be the state meet in February. Havre also hosts the Havre Invitational and Class A Meet in back-to-back weeks at the Havre Community Pool.


As the Ponies head into the season, they obviously hope to compete. But when it comes to having a successful year, Kilgore believes the season will be a success if his swimmers can grow and come together as a team through the course of the year.

"A successful year for me is not about wins and losses. It's about the kids learning, growing and having a good time and coming together as a team," Kilgore said. "If we can make all that happen, to me that's a successful year. Anything else is kind of icing on the cake."

The Ponies will begin their season this Saturday with a meet in Polson.

 

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