Flathead Valley swimmers are in Bozeman this weekend for the Class AA and A state meet.
Preliminary action highlights today’s schedule with the finals on Saturday.
Swimming begins 11 a.m. both days at the Bozeman Swim Center.
The Flathead boys earned a third-place trophy a year ago at the Great Falls High School Pool in AA while the Whitefish girls and boys were both second in A.
Glacier girls were fourth and the boys 14th.
Flathead girls tied for 17th.
The Whitefish girls were state champs in 2017.
Glacier senior A.J. Popp will look to close out her spectacular prep career while Whitefish sophomore standout Preston Ring hopes to cap his dominating season with some state individual titles.
Popp won the 200 freestyle last year at state and was second in the 100 free. She holds every individual swim record at GHS and is also member of every record-setting relay team for the Wolfpack.
She has the second best time, for all classes, in three events this winer — 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.
Popp’s swim career will continue at the collegiate level as she has signed with Northern Colorado.
Ring has the top times this season in the 50 and 100 free and 200 individual medley and the second-best times in the 200 free and 100 breast.
Flathead’s Caroline Dye, who was third in the 100 freestyle at state in 2018 as a sophomore, has top 10 times this season in the 100, 200 and 500 free.
Lily Milner of Flathead has enjoyed banner season in the 50, 100 and 200 free while teammate Jace Reed has done well in the 50 and 100 free, 100 back, 100 butterfly and has been a big contributor on the Braves’ relay teams.
Milner has the second best time in the 200 free and third best in the 50 and 100 free.
For Glacier, Eden Flake has posted the fourth fastest times in both the 50 and 100 free.
Whitefish freshman Ada Qunell has top 10 times in the 50 free and 100 fly and 200 individual medley.
Columbia Falls will have 18 swimmers (10 girls and eight boys) at state with four boys and two girls in four events.
Sam Pierce is entered in three individual events — 100 back and 100 and 400 free — while Peyton Malmberg is entered in the 100 free. Pierce will swim on one relay and Malmberg three.
James Role and Russell Albin are also entered in four events.
Shai Moultray and Maddy Stoddard are four-event swimmers for the girls. Moultray will do the 100 and 200 relay plus two relays while Stoddard is in two relays plus the 100 back and 500 free.
Columbia Falls finished fourth in boys and girls team standings last year at state.
Bigfork, the lone Class B school with a swim program, will have 11 girls competing.
Junior Ashley Anderson will swim the 50 and 500 free, senior Ahna Fox is entered in the 200 individual medley and 100 back, senior Hannah Crutsinger is in the 50 and 100 free and sophomore Hanna Ritchie will do the 50 free and 100 breaststroke.
All four will also swim on relays.
“An amazing season,” Bigfork coach Charlie Ball said for Anderson.
“It’s been fun to watch her times, see the growth she’s had this year compared to last year.”
Ball said Fox has been exceptional when it comes to “wanting to try new things and push herself. I’m excited she’s doing the IM.”
Ball said Crutsinger “has really been an outstanding swimmer, showed so much dedication this season. I’m excited about what she can do (at state).”
Ball said Ritchie, in just her second swim season, has shown great improvement.
“I still see a lot of growth, potential for her over the next couple of years.”
Flathead Valley Swimmers With Top 10 Best Times
50 free — 3. Lily Milner, Flathead, 24;41; 4. Eden Flake, Glacier, 24.64; 6. Ada Qunell, Whitefish, 25.38.
100 free — 3. Lily Milner, Flathead, 53.83; 4. Eden Flake, Glacier, 54.73; 8. Caroline Dye, Glacier, 56.64.
200 free — 2. Lily Milner, Flathead, 1:59.47; 7. AJ Popp, Glacier, 2:01.98; 8. Caroline Dye, Glacier, 2:02.86.
500 free — 3. Ada Qunell, 5:25.27; 8. Caroline Dye, Glacier, 5:33.62; 10. Annie Sullivan, Whitefish, 5:37.64.
100 back — 2. AJ Popp, Glacier, 59.83; 4. AJ Popp, Glacier, 1:01.09; 9. Eden Flake, Glacier, 1:02.69.
100 breast — 4. AJ Popp, Glacier, 1:11.74.
100 fly — 2. AJ Popp, Glacier, 1:00.77; 5. Ada Qunell, Whitefish, 1:01.61.
200 IM — 2. AJ Popp, Glacier, 2:14.44; 9. Ada Qunell, Whitefish, 2:21.19.
50 free — 1. Preston Ring, Whitefish, 22.03; 7. Jace Reed, Flathead, 22.93.
100 free — 1. Preston Ring, Whitefish, 47.08; 7. Jace Reed, Flathead, 51.18.
200 free — 2. Preston Ring, Whitefish, 1:46.86.
500 free — 5. Preston Ring, Whitefish, 4:59.12.
100 back — 3. Jace Reed, Flathead, 56.30.
100 breast — 2. Preston Ring, Whitefish, 1:01.27.
100 fly — 7. Jace Reed, Flathead, 55.72.
200 IM — 1. Preston Ring, Whitefish, 2:01.17.