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Chinook, Harlem Swimmers Exceed Expectations at Eastern Divisional

 

August 3, 2022

The Chinook Lions Swim Team, above left and the Harlem Swim Team, above right, on deck at the Montana Federation of Swimmers Eastern Divisional in Plentywood following the Parade of Athletes. 360 swimmers were on hand looking to advance to the State Swim Meet in Lewistown this weekend. The top 12 swimmers in each individual event as well as the top 6 relay teams will punch their ticket to the state meet. Severe Thunderstorms Saturday afternoon disrupted the schedule pretty good forcing many events to be swam as timed finals on Sunday. Both the Lions and the Harlem Swim team handled the situation very well and will take a well deserving group of swimmers to compete in Lewistown.

The Montana Federation of Swimmers Eastern Divisional took place in Plentywood this past weekend. 360 swimmers and 12 teams were entered in the event, all hoping to punch their ticket to the State Swim Meet in Lewistown next Weekend. The top 12 finishers in each individual event as well as the top six medley, freestyle and mixed relay teams in each age group will advance to the state meet.

The weather in Plentywood is predictably difficult at times, and Saturday was no exception. At approximately 4:45 pm Meet Officials and Eastern Division Representatives made the call to postpone the remainder of the days events to Sunday and swim them as timed finals. These events included the 15-19 Backstroke races as well as all of the Butterfly events. The meet went off without a hitch following the weather disruption. Chinook Head Coach Benton Elliot commented, "Some of our kids that swim butterfly were a little frustrated because they were starting to get close to records and now they get one less chance to break those records. It's a little frustrating, but there's not much that we can do about it." By Sunday morning his kids were ready to go, "It was a big thunderstorm and wind was blowing tents everywhere. It's a little chilly this morning so as long as they can stay warm they will be ready to go."

The Lions took 28 swimmers to the Eastern Divisional and qualified 24 for the state meet next week. The Lions were impressive as a team in the pool collecting six individual High Point trophies while just missing out on another two by a fraction of a second. In addition the Lions Swimmers combined for 11 new pool records. As for the butterfly events that were swam as timed finals on Sunday, the Lions weren't affected by the delay at all and broke three records on the day. "We placed 4th overall but had significantly less swimmers than the teams that placed ahead of us. That put us in Class A, which I think we have a very good chance to win," said Elliot. "I think our swimmers are peaking at the right time and they will cut even more time at state in Lewistown."

The Harlem team also had a fantastic showing at the Eastern Divisional. Ciana Johnson won the girls 9-10 High Point trophy, winning all three of her individual events while also smashing two pool records. Harlem took 21 swimmers to Plentywood and qualified 15 for the state swim meet in Lewistown. Nine of those swimmers qualified in all three individual events, three swimmers will compete in two events and three will swim just once.

The Chinook Lions are very strong in so many categories and were led by a very talented group of swimmers in Plentywood. Tyler Stephens was the first Lion to secure a High Point trophy, winning the 8 and Under boys division award. Tyler first won the 25 Meter Freestyle and established a new pool record with a time of :16.90. Later he would garner a first place finish in the 50 Meter Freestyle and establish another pool record with a time of :37.86. Tyler finished the day with a second place finish in the 25 Meter Backstroke, finishing in just :22.64.

Rachel Stephens garnered the girls 11-12 High Point award following a superb effort that saw her win all three of her individual events. Stephens was so dominate in her swims that all three marks established new records for the Plentywood pool. First up, Rachel swam her way to gold in the 50 Meter Freestyle in :31.11. Shortly there after she took the top spot in the 100 Meter Freestyle, touching the wall in 1:08.37. She finished the day with a win in the 50 Meter Butterfly with an effort of :33.80 to complete the sweep.

Not to be outdone in the 11-12 age group, Bryce Elliot won the boys High Point Trophy. Bryce absolutely demolished the pool record in the 200 Meter Freestyle finishing in 2:30.83, more than 10 full seconds better than the previous mark and :12.02 faster than the second place finisher. Bryce began his Divisional swim with a win in the 200 Meter Individual Medley, completing the four disciplines in 3:09.54 to win the event. In completing his individual event sweep, Bryce won the 50 Meter Butterfly as well with a time of :36.59.

Katie Tilleman was at it again, sweeping all three of her individual races while establishing new pool records in each event along the way. Katie won the girls 13-14 High Point trophy and started the record breaking divisional with a win in the 50 Meter Freestyle with a time of :29.55. Next she added a win in the 100 Meter Backstroke, completing the four lengths of the pool in 1:15.92. Katie finished up with a first place finish in the 50 Meter Butterfly hitting the touch pad in :33.80 to complete her trifecta.

Daniel Tilleman was next to secure a High Point trophy for the Lions Swim Team, claiming a share of the 13-14 boys top honor with teammate Brockton Elliot. Daniel first claimed victory in the 50 Meter Freestyle, completing the sprint in :27.85. Next he won the 100 Meter Freestyle with an effort of 1:04.44. Capping off an outstanding Eastern divisional, Daniel touched the wall first in the 200 Meter Freestyle to win the event with a time of 2:26.93.

Brockton also captured three individual golds in the boys 13-14 division swimming opposite Daniel. Brockton first secured a win in the 200 Meter Individual Medley with a time of 2:47.37. Next he secured the top spot and broke a pool record in the 50 Meter Butterfly with a time of :29.97. Brockton added yet another pool record to his tally later in the day with a win and new pool record in the 100 Meter Butterfly with an effort of 1:12.24.

Just missing out on individual High Point honors were Britton Elliot and Denton DePriest. Britton won the girls 15-19 50 Meter Freestyle with a time of :29.97. Moments later she added a win in the 100 Meter Freestyle, finishing in just 1:06.00. Britton just missed her chance in the 100 Meter Backstroke finishing in second just a fraction behind the winner in 1:19.57. Denton had a similar story at the Eastern Divisional. He took home the top spot in the 15-19 boys 100 Meter Breaststroke with a time of 1:21.42. Denton added a win in the 400 Meter Freestyle as well, winning the grueling race with an effort of 5:03.36. A second place finish in the 100 Meter Freestyle, just :00.01 behind the winner in a photo finish kept Denton from a High Point Trophy.

In a final record breaking performance by the Lions Swim Team, the boys 13-14 200 Meter Freestyle Relay of Kolton DePriest, Walter Schoen, Brockton Elliot and Daniel Tilleman won the race with a time of 1:57.00 and established a new pool record in the process,

The Chinook Lions Swim Team, above left and the Harlem Swim Team, above right, on deck at the Montana Federation of Swimmers Eastern Divisional in Plentywood following the Parade of Athletes. 360 swimmers were on hand looking to advance to the State Swim Meet in Lewistown this weekend. The top 12 swimmers in each individual event as well as the top 6 relay teams will punch their ticket to the state meet. Severe Thunderstorms Saturday afternoon disrupted the schedule pretty good forcing many events to be swam as timed finals on Sunday. Both the Lions and the Harlem Swim team handled the situation very well and will take a well deserving group of swimmers to compete in Lewistown.

The Harlem Swim Team was led by the brilliant performance of Ciana Johnson in the girls 9-10 division. Ciana established a pair of new pool records while winning all three of her individual events. Ciana began her eastern Divisional swim with a win in the 50 Meter Freestyle, beating her competitors to the wall in just :33.31. She followed that performance with an incredible swim in the 100 Meter Freestyle, finishing in pool record style with a time of 1:12.46 to win the event. Ciana finished her day by winning the 50 Meter Backstroke and establishing another pool record with a time of :41.35.

Picking up a big win for the Harlem Swim Team was Hunter Speaksthunder. His time of 1:23.85 topped the field in the 13-14 boys 100 Meter Backstroke. Hunter added a pair of third place finishes in the 50 Meter Butterfly (:36.10) and the 200 Meter Freestyle (2:37.42) to his Divisional haul as well. Baily Johnson had a nice effort in the pool as well for the Harlem swimmers. Baily finished second in the 11-12 girls 200 Meter Freestyle (2:44.13), third and the 100 Meter Freestyle 1:13.62) and a fourth in the 50 Meter Freestyle (:33.95). Landen Gray scored some big points for the Harlem Swim Team with a second place finish in the boys 15-19 50 Meter Freestyle (:27.80) and a third place finish in the 100 Meter Freestyle (1:03.98). Gray also finished fifth in the 50 Meter Butterfly.

 
 

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