Valley Journal
Valley Journal

Braving waves: swimmers compete in windy conditions during open swim race

POLSON – While Flathead Lake water conditions on Saturday could have been compared to swimming in a washing machine, the choppy waters didn’t dissuade the nearly 50 swimmers who took part in the 15th annual Water Daze.

“We usually have 80-100 swimmers,” said event organizer Tana Seeley. Seeley felt that the windy condition and smoky air contributed heavily to this year’s lower-than-normal turn out.

Water Daze is a one-mile swim which provides swimmers the opportunity to try their hand at open water swimming in Flathead Lake’s Polson Bay while raising money for Mission Valley Aquatics. The race starts on the west side of the of the bay at Salish Point and finishes at Boettcher Park.

Landon Shipley swam through the choppy waters the fastest with an overall time of 25.07.

“The waves pushed us around a little bit,” said Shipley. “Also, with the waves it was kind of hard to spot where I was supposed to go.”

“It was really wavy,” said ladies’ first place finisher Lisa Chewning. “I couldn’t tell where I was going half the time.”

Shipley, 17, of Polson, won this year’s race after finishing six seconds behind last year’s overall winner Matt Seeley. Shipley was closely followed by second and third-place finishers Cole Henry and Jacob Butler, who battled it out for respective times of 25.13 and 25.29.

Chewning finished with a time of 31.28. She was followed by the Crist sisters, Elissa with a time of 32.35 and Tiana who finished at 32.40.

According to Seeley, Water Daze was originally started to help raise funding for the proposed state-of-the-art Mission Valley Aquatic Center, but now it’s “more of a celebration.”

For more information about the Water Daze event or other aqua programs, call the Mission Valley Aquatic Center at 406-883-4567 or visit the website at



Mission Valley Aquatics

15th Annual Polson Bay’s Water Daze 

One Mile Swim Results 


Women 14 & Under:

Tiana Crist 32.40 (age 14)

Isabel Seeley 51.40 (age 11)

Sami Dolberry 1:04.38 (age 11)


Men 14 & Under:

Mason Sloan 28.01 (age 14)

Sean Murphree 30.17 (age 12)


Women 15-19:

Elissa Crist 32.35

Nayeli Windauer 35.22

Malia Seeley 40.53

Gwen Seeley 42.03


Men 15-19:

Landon Shipley 25.07 Overall Male

Jacob Butler 25.29

Nick Jacobson 32.42

Yonaton Ben-Cholm 33.06


Women 20-29:

Lisa Chewning 31.28 Overall Female


Men 20-29:

Cole Henry 25.13

Matthew Row 27.05

Chris Alfiero 37.36


Women 30-39:

Katie Walten 1:03.59


Men 30-39:

Ben Montgomery 35.53


Women 40-49:

Uli Rodriques 48.10


Men 40-49:

George YellowRobe 34.34

Thomas O’Neil 34.48

Eddy Scott 41.40

Josh Pallister 50.55


Women 50-59:

Michelle McNish 46.22


Men 50-59:

Mark Johnston 25.42

Pat Lake 40.32

Mark Murphree 44.36


Women 60-69:

Patti Waterman 36.39

Bonnie Doerfler 48.41

Francie Lipp 1:04.30


Men 60-69:

Jim Kuffel 34.16

James Hogan 34.16

Kevin Detwiler 47.30


Women 70+:

Cherly Ward 48.00

Dee Keese 52.18

Jeanne Ensign 53.54


Men 70+:

Nick Russin 1:04.30

Bernd Albrecht 1:14.39 (age 75)


Lo 50°

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