The Wildcat swimmers were in the pool for their home meet Saturday as The Wave in Whitefish hosted the annual Cat/Dog Invitational.
Columbia Falls swimmers had 14 state qualifying times at the meet and set 17 personal best times, including four top-5 finishes.
Sam Pierce and James Role had the top finishes for the Wildcats on the day as Pierce was fourth in 100 freestyle with a state qualifying time of 56.24 seconds while Role was fourth in the 500 freestyle with a personal best time of 6:20.20.
“It was such a good meet for us. I was incredibly surprised in how many huge improvements we had, considering we have had meets in back-to-back weekends. It was loud and electric and the kids swam really well,” coach Savannah Matyas said.
Russell Albin was fifth in the 200 individual medley with 2:30.31 and Pierce was fifth in the 100 backstroke with a state qualifying and personal best time of 1:08.51.
Emerald Templin shaved 15 seconds off her best time in the 500 freestyle to qualify for state with a time of 6:12.96 while James Role took nearly six seconds off his best time in the same event. Jayna Moultray also set a new personal best and qualified for state in the 100 backstroke after recently making a major change to her technique in the race.
“It’s just cool to see when kids are willing to make those big changes and then have it work out so well in their favor,” Matyas said.
Also setting personal best times at the meet were Nathalia Heredia, Azlyn Caldwell, Conner Cheff, Colin Smith, Noel Royer and Rebekah Walker.
State qualifiers included Templin, Jayna Moultray, Cheff, Lauren York, Shai Moultray, Maddy Stoddard, Albin, Pierce, Role and Smith.
The Cats will swim in Missoula Saturday before resting up for the state meet in Bozeman Feb. 8-9.
For full results, read this article online at www.hungryhorsenews.com.
*Indicates state qualifying time
Girls 200 Freestyle:
Nathalia Heredia 15th, 3:02.94 (personal best)
Alexa Millholen 16th, 3:04.23
Girls 200 Individual Medley:
Emerald Templin 6th, 2:35.68* (personal best)
Boys 200 Individual Medley:
Russell Albin 5th, 2:30.31
Girls 50 Freestyle:
Jayna Moultray, 18th, 31.11* (personal best)
Nathalia Heredia 29th, 34.95 (personal best)
Alexa Millholen 30th, 35.12
Azlyn Caldwell 35th, 36.18 (personal best)
Boys 50 Freestyle:
Conner Cheff 16th, 27.42* (personal best)
Colin Smith 29th, 34.79 (personal best)
Boys 100 Butterfly:
Russell Albin 6th, 1:04.25*
Girls 100 Freestyle:
Lauren York 8th, 1:05.50*
Shai Moultray 12th, 1:09.66*
Maddy Stoddard 16th, 1:12.43*
Noel Royer 23rd, 1:16.54 (personal best)
Rebekah Walker 25th, 1:18.27
Boys 100 Freestyle:
Sam Pierce 4th, 56.24*
Girls 500 Freestyle:
Emerald Templin 9th, 6:12.96* (personal best)
Maddy Stoddard 15th, 7:18.10
Shai Moultray 19th, 7:50.04
Boys 500 Freestyle:
James Role 4th, 6:20.20 (personal best)
Girls 100 Backstroke:
Jayna Moultray 14th, 1:21.59* (personal best)
Azlyn Caldwell 20th, 1:28.62 (personal best)
Rebekah Walker 22nd, 1:31.02 (personal best)
Noel Royer 23rd, 1:34.18
Boys 100 Backstroke:
Sam Pierce 5th, 1:08.51* (personal best)
Girls 100 Breaststroke:
Lauren York 7th, 1:20.46*
Boys 100 Breaststroke:
Conner Cheff 11th, 1:16.03* (personal best)
James Role 14th, 1:19.10* (personal best)
Colin Smith 17th, 1:28.28 (personal best)
Girls 200 Medley Relay:
Rebekah Walker, Noel Royer, Alexa Millholen, Azlyn Caldwell – 2:45.40
Girls 200 Freestyle Relay:
Jayna Moultray, Shai Moultray, Maddy Stoddard, Emerald Templin – NT
Noel Royer, Rebekah Walker, Nathalia Heredia, Alexa Millholen – NT
Boys 200 Freestyle Relay:
James Role, Colin Smith, Conner Cheff, Sam Pierce – 1:56.88
Girls 400 Freestyle Relay:
Shai Moultray, Jayna Moultray, Maddy Stoddard, Emerald Templin – 4:48.82
Boys 400 Freestyle Relay:
James Role, Colin Smith, Conner Cheff, Sam Pierce – 4:24.65