Swim team off to a good start, will be home this month

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Alanis Peterson swims laps during practice last week.

The Columbia Falls summer swim team is going well, said first-year coach Harry Bagley. The squad has 67 swimmers and will showcase its talent at home July 29-30, Bagley said.

Bagley has familiar names as assistant coaches. Colton Babcock and Hayden Pierce are both helping out. Babcock was a state record holder for the high school swim team and Pierce was one of the top swimmers for the girls squad.

Bagley likes this young group of swimmers. They’ve been doing well this season and hope to make their mark at the divisional and state tourneys. Top swimmers include Alanis Peterson and Avery Role for the girls and Nathan and Logan Niles for the boys. As it’s the only summer swim team in the valley, it draws swimmers from Bigfork, Whitefish, Kalispell and Columbia Falls.

Bagley said he’s coached a variety of youth sports, including T-ball and soccer. He swam during high school.

“I’m looking forward to being here for the long run and building the club,” he said.

Statewide, Bitterroot is the squad to beat, Bagley noted, because the club has a lot of swimmers — more than 100.

Swimmers who compete in year-round leagues can only swim in exhibition races in the summer league.

The swimmers practice bright and early each morning from 5:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the city pool.

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