Swimmers get off to fast start in Kalispell

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Patricia McDaniel races ahead in the 100 butterfly at The Summit in Kalispell Saturday during the Kalispell Invite. (Jeremy Weber/Hungry Horse News.)

The Whitefish swim team got its feet wet with strong opening performances in Kalispell on Saturday.

The boys took sixth overall while the girls took ninth. The invite featured Class A, B and AA schools.

For the girls, Annie Sullivan finished with two second-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (2:09.95) and the 500 freestyle (5:50.55).

On the boys side, the 200 medley relay team took third (1:51.53) and the 200 freestyle relay team fifth (1:54.84).

Preston Ring notched two second-place finishes as well, in the 200 freestyle (1:53.46) and 100 breaststroke (1:05.68). Alex Stein also grabbed second in the 500 freestyle (5:31.84) and Matthew Perez took fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.28).

Head coach Emily Von Jentzen said she viewed this initial meet as a benchmark invite, and she’s happy with what she saw on Saturday.

“I thought it was a pretty good meet. It looked like we had 16 swims that were faster times than prior season, I think that’s a pretty good place to start,” Von Jentzen said. “There’s certainly some areas that we can improve upon, and I think the kids see that as well, but we’ll start on that tonight.”

Von Jentzen said she also didn’t sense any intimidation from facing larger schools at the meet.

“We had great attitudes from the swimmers. It was a pretty big meet, all the other team were a lot larger in size, so coming into it as a smaller team, it’s really good from a coaching perspective that they weren’t down and still gave it their all. You can’t ask for anymore.”

The Bulldogs will head to the Great Falls Invite in two weeks.

Von Jentzen said the focus heading into that meet will just be tweaking small technique details to improve individually.

“Each stroke has little bits and pieces that are specific to each swimmer that we decided to do more drills on,” she said. “We’re going to keep working on trying to improve those times, get them faster and make sure everyone has a good season.”

Kalispell Swim Invitational

Saturday

The Summit

GIRLS

Team Scores — 1, Missoula Sentinel, 459. 2, Missoula Hellgate, 453. 3, CMR, 350. 4, Glacier, 236. 5, Great Falls, 149. 6, Missoula Big Sky/Loyola, 129. 7, Flathead, 121. 8, Columbia Falls, 99. 9, Whitefish, 65. 10, Bigfork, 30.

200 Freestyle — 2, Annie Sullivan, Whitefish, 2:09.95.

500 Freestyle — 2, Annie Sullivan, Whitefish, 5:50.55.

BOYS

Team Scores — 1, Great Falls, 433.5. 2, CMR, 302. 3, Missoula Hellgate, 226.5. 4, Flathead, 211. 5, Missoula Sentinel, 190. 6, Whitefish, 155. 7, Missoula Big Sky/Loyola, 151. 8, Glacier, 147. 9, Columbia Falls, 59.

200 Medley Relay ? 1, Flathead ‘A’ 1:44.98. 2, Hellgate ‘A’ 1:48.95. 3, Whitefish ‘A’ 1:51.53. 4, Sentinel ‘A’ 1:53.57. 5, Great Falls ‘A’ 1:53.85. 6, CMR ‘A’ 1:57.24.

200 Freestyle — 2, Preston Ring, Whitefish, 1:53.46.

500 Freestyle — 2, Alex Stein, Whitefish, 5:31.84.

200 Freestyle Relay — 1, Flathead ‘A’ 1:33.58. 2, Great Falls ‘A’ 1:41.46. 3, CMR ‘A’ 1:42.46. 4, Missoula Big Sky/Loyola ‘A’ 1:47.29. 5, Whitefish ‘A’ 1:54.84. 6, CMR ‘B’ 1:55.72.

100 Backstroke — 4, Matthew Perez, Whitefish, 1:01.28.

100 Breaststroke — 2, Preston Ring, Whitefish, 1:05.68.

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