By Angie Abdou
On the weekend of January 20-22, seven Dolphins attended their first meet of 2023 and got the year off to a fantastic start. The swimmers achieved over 90 percent personal best times.
Leah Soetaert led the way in rankings, earning silver medals in the 100 IM, 50 back, 100 back, and 50 free.
Cadence Prefontaine and Adam Hayden also made finals, with Prefontaine earning 8th place in the 50 free and Hayden nabbing 10th place in the 100 free and 200 breast, as well as 11th in the 50 back and 50 fly. Hayden had an exceptionally strong meet, achieving best times in all of his swims and earning himself a spot at Montana State Championships with two new qualifying times in the 50 fly and 100 free.
Cole Bailey attended his first big city meet and rose to the challenge by taking off nearly 100 seconds over the course of the weekend in his seven swims. Bailey placed 13th in the 200 free and 18th in the 100 free.
The 13–14-year-old girls (Abbi Wannamaker, Ava Pollock, and Katie Hafke) also had strong meets, showing new confidence and strength in the competition pool and experimenting with going out fast and holding their speed. All three swimmers put in personal best times.
Coach Aidan Chudleigh was pleased with the performances of all his swimmers. “It’s important to remember we had a two-week break over Christmas so we’re just getting back into training. We saw a lot of good improvements in the pool, from confidence in going out fast to commitment on wall work.” The Dolphins’ coaching staff is excited to see continued improvements throughout the 2023 winter season.
The Dolphins’ next meet will be at a time trial at home on February 8, with the goal of getting more swimmers qualified for Montana State Championships.