As the Divisional swim meet approaches this weekend, the Glasgow Thunder stumbled in their final regular season event finishing seventh out of 12 teams that participated in the event.
Even while finishing on the bottom half of the leaderboard, Thunder coaches are optimistic about their team’s chances come this Saturday in Chinook.
“We expect to be able to qualify around 85 percent of our swimmers for the State meet,” said co-head coach Whitney Billing.
Glasgow had 19 swimmers participate in the Lewiston meet, up from the previous week’s total at the Glendive meet which was 14.
The coaches said that the continuous improvement from their swimmers is evident in the times posted at each event and even during practice.
The past few weeks, the coaches have been experimenting with swimmers by putting them in different events throughout the season to find the best fit for each individual swimmer while at the same time helping the team rack up as many points as possible at each meet.
The experimenting is obviously over now with Divisionals upon us and State around the corner, but some of the swimmers who were thrust into new events, will continue compete in said events at Divisionals with Jordan Kulczyk being a prime example.
Kulczyk competed in the 100-meter butterfly in Glendive two weeks ago and came away with a first place finish which made it easy for both Billing and co-head coach Irene Whitmer to keep her in the event.
“She excels in it [the 100 butterfly],” said Whitmer.
A group the coaches claim often go overlooked by the performance of the older, more experienced swimmers on the team is those in the eight-year-old and under group.
“These kids deserve so much praise,” said Whitmer. “At the beginning of the season, we were talking about how a couple of the swimmers needed assistance in their events to just complete the 25. Now none of them need help in finishing their events and some of them are even doing 50-meter events now.”
Even with the middle-of-the-pack performance at Lewistown, both coaches were happy that their team got to see a couple of teams from the western part of Montana, something that usually doesn’t happen until State meets in most seasons.
“Being able to compete against a couple of teams from the west was good for our team,” Billing said. “They have some good talent over there and it prepared us for when we’ll see that talent again at State.