Wildcat swimmers take seventh in Kalispell

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Columbia Falls' Sam Pierce swims during the Boys 200 Yard Freestyle at the Kalispell Invitational swim meet at The Summit on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

The Wildcat swim team set 13 new personal bests and qualified for state in nine events Saturday as the competed at the Kalispell Invitational at the The Summit Saturday.

The Cats picked up seven top-5 finishes to come in 7th at the meet, which included a number of AA schools.

“The kids have constantly impressed me throughout the season. We consistently have a high number of personal records at every meet, but their performance Saturday was even more impressive because of the reduced number of practices they have had around the holidays recently,” coach Savannah Matyas said

Russell Albin had the top finish for the Cats at the meet, coming in third in the 100-meter butterfly with a state-qualifying time of 1:04.29. Sam Pierce dropped eight seconds off his previous best in the 200-meter freestyle to finish fourth with a state-qualifying time of 2:07.73 and Connor Cheff had a personal best in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing fourth with a state-qualifying time of 1:17.16.

Emerald Templin had the top finish for the Columbia Falls girls, coming in fifth in the 500-meter freestyle with a state qualifying time of 6:28.81. Rebekah Walker also dropped more than 8 seconds off her previous best time in the 100-meter backstroke.

The Cats also had strong showings in several of the relay events as the team of Pierce, Colin Smith, Albin and Cole Cooper was fourth in the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 2:10.46, the team of James Role, Smith, Cheff and Cooper was fifth in the 200-meter freestyle relay with a time of 1:59.64 and the team of Pierce, Role, Albin and Cheff was fifth in the 400-meter freestyle relay with a time of 4:02.10.

The Cats will be looking for another strong showing as they host their home meet, along with Whitefish, Saturday as the annual Cat/Dog meet will begin at noon at The Wave in Whitefish.

“Our pool is not the fastest pool, but the kids are always motivated to do their best at their home meet,” Matyas said. “We know the kids are going to be most excited to swim in front of their friends and family.”

For full results, look online at www.hungryhorsenews.com.

Kalispell Invitational:

* indicates state qualifying time

Girls 200 Medley Relay:

Rebekah Walker, Maddy Stoddard, Emerald Templin and Nathalia Heredia 7th, 2:31.08.

Boys 200 Medley Relay:

Sam Pierce, Colin Smith, Russell Albin and Cole Cooper 4th, 2:10.46

Girls 200 Freestyle:

Alexa Millhollen 2:58.13 (personal best)

Boys 200 Freestyle:

Sam Pierce 4th 2:07.73* (personal best)

James Role 10th 2:12.12* (personal best)

Girls 200 Individual Medley:

Emerald Templin 2:44.02*

Girls 50 Freestyle:

Alexa Millhollen 34.56 (personal best)

Nathalia Heredia 36.17 (personal best)

Boys 50 Freestyle:

Cole Cooper 30.57 (personal best)

Girls 100 Butterfly:

Maddy Stoddard 8th 1:35.05

Boys 100 Butterfly:

Russell Albin 3rd 1:04.29*

Girls 100 Freestyle:

Jayna Moultray 1:10.78*

Nathalia Heredia 1:23.50 (personal best)

Boys 100 Freestyle:

Sam Pierce 8th 57.48*

Russell Albin 9th 58.44*

Cole Cooper 1:09.56 (personal best)

Colin Smith 1:19.38 (personal best)

Girls 500 Freestyle:

Emerald Templin 5th 6:28.81*

MOaddy Stoddard 7:26.77

Boys 500 Freestyle:

James Role 6th 6:26.36 (personal best)

Girls 200 Freestyle Relay:

Alexa Millhollen, Azlyn Caldwell, Nathalia Heredia, Jayna Moultray 10th 2:21.98

Boys 200 Freestyle Relay:

James Role, Colin Smith, Connor Cheff, Cole Cooper 5th 1:59.64

Girls 100 Backstroke:

Jayna Moultray 9th 1:24.08

Rebekah Walker 1:34.11 (personal best)

Girls 100 Breaststroke

Rebekah Walker 1:46.64

Boys 100 Breaststroke

Connor Cheff 4th 1:17.16* (personal best)

Colin Smith 1:26.66 (personal best)

Girls 400 Freestyle Relay:

Alexa Millhollen, Maddy Stoddard, Emerald Templin, Jayna Moultray 9th 4:55.86

Boys 400 Freestyle Relay:

Sam Pierce, James Role, Russell Albin, Connor Cheff 5th 4:02.10

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