Swim team takes second in opening meet at Shelby

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Elaine Martindale practices her freestyle at Pinewood Park Monday. The Columbia Falls Swim team opened the season with a second-place finish in Shelby over the weekend. (Jeremy Weber photo)

The Columbia Falls Swim Team earned third in its opening meet of the season in Shelby over the weekend on the strength of 24 top-3 finishes.

The Columbia Falls team finished the meet with five first-place finishes, 10 second-place and was third in nine events despite only having 25 of its 70 swimmers available.

We had a good showing and we had some good relays. Im really excited about how we did and how things are looking for this season, head coach Maida Walters said. I think we are ahead of where we were last year. We know what we are good at and what needs improvement.

The team had three individual winners as Morgan Talbot won the girls 8 and Under 25-yard freestyle with a time of 20.27 seconds, Connor Keith was first in the boys 11-12 50-yard backstroke with a time of 54.34 seconds and Taryn Borgen won the girls 11-12 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:51.13.

The team also picked up wins in two girls relay events as Borgen, Brooke Evans, Molly Bagley and Avery Role team up to win the girls 11-12 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 2:28.39 and the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:58.53.

Role, Catherine Opalka and Logan Niles each picked up a pair of second-place finishes at the meet, while Norah Bagley was second in the girls 13-14 200 freestyle.

The team of Maya Judge, Aubrey Talbot, Elaine Martindale and Matilda Daniels was second in the girls 9-10 100 medley relay and the 100 freestyle relay while the boys team of Liam Swank, Evan Keith, Javen Kuntz and Alexander Daniels was second in the 8 and Under 100 freestyle relay.

Morgan Talbot and Aubrey Talbot both picked up two third place finishes while Norah Bagley, Role, Connor Keith, Opalka and Borgen also earned third-place finishes.

Walters said that, with several swimmers returning from last years team that finished fifth at state, she has high hopes for this years squad.

We have so many returning swimmers, it makes it easier to pick up where we left off and keep working on the things we need to. That has been fun, she said. I think we could really do well this year.

The team will be on the road again this weekend in Hamilton before traveling to Choteau June 22-23. Their only home meet of the season will be June 29-30.

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