A crowd of 260 swimmers gathered in Cut Bank for the Western Divisional Swim Meet this past weekend, all vying for a top 12 placing in their events. Earning a spot in the top 12 in Saturday’s portion of the meet guaranteed swimmers a ticket to the State Swim Meet in Sidney next weekend. Saturday morning’s first event, the individual medley (i.m.) had Fairfield coaches knowing that strong swims would get the meet off to a great start. The five i.m. swimmers from the team did not fail to deliver with four of the five Sailfish advancing to State. 8-and-under Remi Gough showed the team how to punch a ticket to State by taking more than 9 seconds off his 4-length race and placing 2nd in his event. Riley Gough stayed with the top Western Division i.m.’er right to the finish, earning a close second place in her 200 i.m. and dropping her personal best time by almost 8 seconds. Next in line for ticket punching was Tana Gough who swam a strong and technically sound i.m.  Tana not only took 5 seconds off her personal best time to become the Western Divisional I.M. Champion for 13-14 girls but also beat the 5-year-old Cut Bank pool record! The last Sailfish swimmer for the i.m.’s was Alexis McWilliams who earned third place in the 15-19 girls 200 i.m. and posted her best time this summer by 5 seconds.

The Divisional meet was impressive for the Sailfish as each swimmer took off time in one or more of their events. Tana Gough led the way by taking 5 seconds off her 200 i.m., 1 second off her 50 fly and ½ a second off her long fly. With these fast swims, Tana became the Western Divisional Champion for 13-14 girls in the 200 i.m. and the 50 and 100 fly. Alexis McWilliams posted her best times for the season, taking 5 seconds off her 200 i.m. and a second off her 100 free.  She also took 3 seconds off her season’s best in the 100 breast and wowed the crowd with her beautiful, speedy stroking as she pulled ahead of the pack and went on to break the pool record which had stood for 17 years! Riley Gough not only took off time in her 200 i.m. (8 seconds) but also improved both her backstroke and fly times by a second. Congratulations to Alexis and Riley for being Western Divisional Champions; Alexis earned this honor in the 100 breaststroke and Riley in the 50 fly. Congratulations also goes to Toryn Martinez, Brooke McWilliams, Tana Gough, and Riley Gough for becoming Western Divisional Champions in the 13-14 girls medley relay race.

Toryn Martinez and Brooke McWilliams both took off 2 seconds in their 200 free races with smooth, powerful stroking.  Brooke also posted her best time in the 100 breast by ½ a second. Even the younger swimmers, Remi and Kolt Gough, bested their times. Remi improved his i.m. by 9 seconds and his breast and backstroke by a second or more, while Kolt decreased his 50 breaststroke by 3 seconds!

Fairfield coaches were also impressed by two swimmers who earned high point awards for their age groups. Toryn Martinez’s powerful swims in the 100 and 200 free and the 50 backstroke earned her high point honors for the 11-12 girls as well as the title of Western Divisional Champion in the 50 backstroke, while Tana Gough went undefeated in all three of her races to take home the top award for 13-14 girls.

With their tickets punched, all 7 Sailfish swimmers will be heading to Sidney next weekend for the State Swim Meet. The team is excited to show that strength does not always come in large numbers!

Individual results:

Remi Gough: 2nd 100 i.m.; 3rd 25 back; 5th 25 breast

Kolt Gough: 8th 50 back; 12th 50 breast

Riley Gough: Western Divisional Champion (1st) 50 fly; 2nd 200 i.m.; 4th 50 back

Tana Gough: Western Divisional Champion (1st) 200 i.m. and pool record; Western Divisional Champion (1st) 50 fly; Western Divisional Champion (1st) 100 fly; high point award 13-14 girls

Toryn Martinez: Western Divisional Champion (1st) 50 back; 2nd 200 free; 2nd 100 free; high point award 11-12 girls

Brooke McWilliams: 2nd 100 breast; 5th 200 free; 11th 100 free

Alexis McWilliams: Western Divisional Champion (1st) 100 breaststroke and pool record; 3rd 100 free; 3rd 200 i.m.

This story was originally posted at fairfieldsuntimes.com