Glasgow will be awash with young swimmers this weekend, when the Kiwanis Swim Team hosts the Eastern Montana Division Swim Meet for the first time since 2007. Somewhere between 600 and 800 people are expected for the two-day event this Saturday and Sunday, about 400 of them competitors hoping to qualify for the state meet Aug. 3-4 in Sidney. To qualify, swimmers must finish among the top 12 in their event.
The Kiwanis team’s coaches have strong expectations for their kids at this meet.
“I have high hopes for all my swimmers,” said Matt Dangleis. “We came in third in Chinook last week with only 14 swimmers. We have qualified swimmers. I hope we have around 40 this time.”
Individually at Chinook, Dalton Sand set a pool record in the boys 8 & U 50-meter free with a time of 37.86 seconds. He also won the 8 & U 100-meter IM in 1:51.26 and the 8 & U 25-meter fly in 20.84.
Katie Kaiser won at Chinook as well with a time of 39.74 in the girls 11-12 50-meter back. She also took second in the 11-12 50-meter free in 33.05, a fraction of a second behind the winner.
Coach Alex Leuchars agreed that the team turnout was going to be high this weekend.
“It will be the first meet this season with really strong participation,” she said.
In spite of light turnout, Glasgow has placed second or third in every meet this summer.
“Our goal is to make the AA Division again like last year,” Leuchars said. “We have a lot of returners who put in a ton of work. They have really improved from last year. And we have some great newcomers.”
Hosting the divisional swim meet is a lot of work for the parents and community volunteers as well as the swimmers and coaches. Jan Kaiser, who has a daughter and a son on the team, said they have good community volunteers.
“There are only 23 families (on the team). We can’t do it all on our own,” Kaiser said.
Key Club members and many others will pitch in on jobs like supervising the heat benches, where the next batch of swimmers sits in numbered order, and selling concessions.
The event has received a lot of community support in donations too, especially from business people, Kaiser said. They are buying ads and raffle tickets for the cash drawing to be held every day in August.
Jim Orr contributed to this report.