The Havre High swim teams may not have the
depth and numbers that big, Class AA programs do, but the Blue Ponies still held their own over the weekend, as they took on two Great Falls teams head on.
The Ponies hosted a double-
dual Havre Invitational on Saturday at the Havre Community Pool. The Ponies took on Class AA programs Great Falls High and CMR. In boys action, the GFH Bison defeated the Ponies 600-368, while the CMR Rustlers defeated the Ponies 455-391. And in girls action, the Bison defeated the Ponies 697-488, while the Rustlers defeated the Ponies 619-391.
“The Great Falls schools are always very competitive when they come up here,” Havre High head coach Chris Inman said. “And I thought or kids swam very well today. Most of them swam just as well as they did last year, or beat their personal best from last year. That was awesome and all the kids looks really good.
“I wanted them to go out and compete,” Inman added. “We have so many new kids, I wanted them to see what high school swimming was about, and I saw some good races out of those young kids.”
Desmond Fialkosky helped lead the way for the HHS boys, as he turned in several great times.
Fialkosky recorded a personal best time in the 200-meter Individual Medley, as well as in his leg of the 200 freestyle Relay. He placed first in the 200 IM with a time of 3:02.85. Fialkosky also finished the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:28.63, good enough for third place. The 200 freestyle relay team finished No. 1 with a time of 1:59.12.
“I think it really helped that instead of going to the Kalispell meet (last weekend),” Fialkosky said. “We stayed here and really competed against each other, as well as the Great Falls teams. You know that your place really matters
against your team, but you also want to swim as well as you can for your own team. Staying here really helped us, as well as giving it all we had in practice.
“I know I am not the best,” Fialkosky added. “So I want to fight to beat everybody that I can. When it comes to meets, I just put it all in the water, and at the end of each meet I should be dead tired, that is how I judge myself.”
Taylor Riphenburg also had a No. 2 finish in the 100 free (1:05.92), while also finishing the 100 backstroke in fourth place with a time of 1:25.19. And Derek Van Dessel finished fifth in the 400 free (6:55.22), and fifth in the 200 free (3:16.03), while Paul Jeffery finished the 100 backstroke in fourth place (1:33.97). Bryant O’Leary also finished the 100 breaststroke in sixth place (138.46), while Ben Seigel finished the 50 free in sixth place with a time of 30.82.
The HHS girls swam well too, and Inman really liked what she saw out of the team, especially from some of the new swimmers like Hannah Pepprock and Lexi Olson.
Pepprock was able to grab a second-place finish in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:33.35. And while Olson wasn’t able to crack the top six, she didswim the 50 freestyle in 35.12, and the 100 freestyle in 1:28.84, two great times for a young swimmer.
“I was impressed with how they swam today,” Inman said. “I saw a lot of good races from our girls today (Saturday).”
Leiza Reighard was able to place in two events. Reighard finished the 50 freestyle in fourth place (32.31), and the 100 freestyle in third place (1:14.27). Larissa Price also finished the 200 freestyle in sixth place (3:01.26) and the 100 freestyle in sixth place (1:20.33). Jackie Martin finished the 100 butterfly in fifth place (1:41.79), and Samantha French finished the 400 freestyle in 6:37.79, good enough for sixth place, while Morgan Jappe finished the 100 breaststroke in fourth place (1:37.64).
Friday and Saturday the Ponies will compete in two separate meets Great Falls. HHS is back in the Havre pool Jan. 5 when the Ponies host the Class A Invite.