Banged-up Bulldogs impress in 11-team meet

Banged-up Bulldogs impress in 11-team meet
Butte High senior Jackson Maloney competes in the 200 individual medley Saturday at the Butte Family YMCA. (Bill Foley photo)

Butte High’s swimming teams didn’t win the 11-team Butte High School Montana Classic held Saturday at the Butte Family YMCA.

As expected, Missoula Hellgate won the boys’ and girls’ team titles.

Butte High coach Lynn Shrader, however, couldn’t be happier with her team that overcame multiple illnesses to put up a good showing in its last tune up before the state meet.

Butte High’s girls swam to third place, while the boys took sixth in the meet. Hellgate ran away with the girls’ title with 688 points. Missoula Sentinel was a distant second at 378. Butte High scored 228 points. (Team scores; Individual results)

On the boys’ side, Hellgate racked up 433.5 points. Second-place Helena high was second at 397, The Bulldogs scored 152 points to tie with Whitefish.

Butte High competed without sophomore star Catherin Russo and senior Matt Ingersoll. They missed the meet with an illness. Many other Bulldogs swam despite battling illness during the week.

“I was just amazed with how our kids swam,” Shrader said. “I was very, very happy. They swam hard, they competed hard.”

Bulldogs Katie Clague, left, and Ellie Kuoppala swim side by side in the 200 IM. (Bill Foley photo)

The coach pointed to several personal bests, including senior Madi Joseph and freshman Evan Zundel. Both qualified for state in the 100 backstroke.

“We had awesome swims today,” Shrader said. “We just had some great swims.”

Elise Dickerson placed sixth in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly for the Bulldog girls. Her freestyle time as a personal best. Cynthia Trudgeon racked up a fourth in the 500 free and a 10th in the 50 free, while Lexie Kautzman swam to sixth in the 500 free.

Anna Trudnowski placed eighth in the 100 backstroke and ninth in the 50 free. She took 3 seconds off her personal record in the backstroke.

Butte High’s B relay team was made up of seniors Dickerson, Nicole Hyatt, Sidney Christie and Trudgeon. The A squad was comprised of juniors Mia Jefferson, Devin Amtmann, Kennedi Ferriter and Trudnowski.

The B team took seventh in the 200 freestyle relay and fourth in the 400 freestyle relay. The A relay team captured sixth in the 400 relay.

On the boys’ side seniors Trevor Komm, Brandon Quinn, Wals and Nathaniel Morin-Ferguson swam to fourth in the 400 freestyle relay. Seniors Quinn, and Ben Sampson teamed with classmates Komm and Walsh to place seventh in the 200 freestyle relay.

Walsh also had a big day individually, placing fourth in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 50 free. He posted personal bests in both events.

Despite battling the flu, Zach Johnson swam to fourth place in the 100 freestyle with his fastest time of the season.

Butte High’s Garrick Sison and David Crossman swam to ninth and 11th in the 100 breaststroke.

In all, 290 swimmers competed in the meet as Butte High celebrated Senior Parents Day. The Bulldogs honored 21 seniors and their parents.

Butte High will have a much needed weekend off next week. The state meet is Feb. 9-10 in Great Falls.

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