On June 17th, the words, “Swimmers take your mark” once again rang through the air in Choteau. It had been a long 17 years and the Choteau Lions Swim Team was ready to put on a meet to remember. With 260 swimmers from as far away as Glendive competing for the first pool records in a brand new pool, the day would prove to be exciting and fast for the Sailfish. Dakota Gibson and Tana Gough were the first of the team to compete in an individual event. Both girls swam the 200 IM as an exposition and would have earned 2nd and 3rd place respectively, an exceptionally good placing for two under year swimmers. As the day moved on the Sailfish headed to the heat benches and in race after race you could find the older competitors encouraging the younger swimmers at the benches. With their younger teammates’ nerves causing slower times than expected in the short free styles, it was time for the older Sailfish to lead by example.
The first Sailfish to claim a pool record was Levi Gibson in the 50 free to be followed 4 minutes later by Alexis McWilliams setting a record also in the 50 free. The Breaststroke was next and Brooke McWilliams set a pool record in the 50 breaststroke with an excellent swim. Not to be outdone big sister Alexis set another record in the 100 breaststroke. The 100 meter freestyle was next and Toryn Martinez threw her nerves in the pool to earn a pool record. Alexis dove in to claim a 3rd pool record in the 100 free while Toryn followed up with a record in the 50 backstroke. Levi Gibson finished off the day with a pool record in the 50 Fly.
On Sunday, the Sailfish would successfully defend 7 out of 8 pool records but the biggest battles were with the under year swimmers trying to move up or improve their times from Saturday’s nerve wracking day. Tana and Riley Gough along with Dakota and Tristan Gibson proved to have true grit with all four of them earning faster times and moving up at least one place in one or more events. Riley Gough had one of the most exciting races of the day with her 50 backstroke when she took a chance, executed a backstroke flip turn and took off time to earn 3rd place, the fastest 9 year old by 4 seconds! With everyone on the team taking off time the Sailfish had one more celebration, watching Alexis McWilliams claim her highpoint trophy. Individual results are below.
Gibson-Dakota 3rd 100 Free, 2nd 50 Fly, 4th 50 Free Levi 1st 50 Free, 1st 50 Fly, 2nd 100 Breast, Tristan 2nd 200 IM, 2nd 100 Back, 5th 50 Fly, Gough-Riley 3rd 50 back, 7th 50 Breast, 10th 100 Free, Tana 4th 200 Free, 5th 50 back, 8th 50 Breast, Martinez-Toryn 1st 50 Back, 3rd 100 Free, 4th 50 Free, McWilliams-Alexis 1st 50 Free, 1st 100 Free, 1st 100 Breast, Brooke 2nd 50 Breast, 11th 50 Back, 10th 50 Free.