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Lake Monsters shine at state

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News from Mission Valley Aquatics

BUTTE — We’re so proud of this gutsy, fun, supportive and speedy group of kids representing the Lake Monsters at this weekend’s Montana Swimming Short Course State Championships in Butte. The state meet scene was big, loud, fast and our kids rose to the challenge.

All had some great swims and learned a lot from the experience. Jacob Clairmont, 17, was the first Lake Monster to qualify for the evening finals, finishing fifth in the 50 backstroke on Friday night. It was a neat experience for these new swimmers to be a part of a spectacle like the state meet where they have both prelims in the morning and finals at night. The top seed gets to pick the pump up music for the walkout and they announce all the swimmers in the final heat before the race. It really gets the house fired up.

Twelve-year-old Maggie Todd had a breakout weekend, earning a bronze medal in the 50 butterfly and two sixth place finishes in the 50 freestyle and 100 individual medley. Maggie is a true competitor and does not back down from a challenge. She is so much fun to watch race, yet has so much to learn, and her coaches are excited to see where she can take this “thing” called swimming.

Sean Murphree, 10, placed fourth in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly and eighth in the 200 freestyle. He had several other great swims on the weekend. Sean really went after some big events and showed that he is a tough and focused athlete. Watch out for Sean as he gets bigger and stronger.

Landon Shipley, 14, and Ajalin Simshaw, 12, showed impressive consistency after hitting some fast marks two weeks ago at the B-C Championships in Great Falls. They are both solid, all-around swimmers, team leaders and so dedicated and deserving of recognition. I have no doubt they will be back to make waves at this meet next year.

Hannah Simpson, 9, was our team’s only returner to state (she cleaned up last year as an eight and under). Hannah loves to race and shows so much gut and grit when she dives in the pool. Since swimmers compete in two-year age groups, it’s really different swimming in this meet as an 8 and under, doing 25s, and now as a little 9-year-old fish in a 10-year-old’s pond. Hannah wasn’t shaken a bit by the pressure and took off time in several swims, but most impressively dropped more than six seconds in her 100 freestyle, finishing in 20th place, but as the eighth 9-year-old in the meet.

Isabel Seeley continued her streak of crazy fast swimming, and was joined by fellow eight and under Samantha Dolberry in the 25 backstroke, finishing 16th and 20th for the Lake Monsters, respectively. Dolberry dropped three seconds and Seeley shaved off almost two in the all-out sprint event. 

All-in-all, it was another successful weekend for our young team. Thanks for your support.

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