Junior Hanni Leach broke a pair of state records and helped Missoula Hellgate High School win three of the final five girls events en route to a team state title. She was joined by senior Hailey Jacobson, who also won two titles in helping Hellgate avenge a 2-point loss at the meet last year.
The Hellgate boys also triumphed, winning just the first and last relays to beat Bozeman high school by 53.
Hellgate was dominant on the girls side, with Leach and Jacobson combining for four individual titles and the team sweeping all three relays.
Right off the bat, Leach, Jacobson, Mary Rhoades and Avery Vernon went 1:47.75 in the 200 medley relay to break a state record. That set the tone for the suffocating Hellgate team right off the bat, and was the first of three records for Leach.
The junior went on to break the 500 free mark (going 5:03.23) and then the 100 back (54.24) just two events later. Then two events after that, she joined Kate Mitchell, Rhoades, and Jacobson to go 3:37.74 in a winning 400 free relay effort. The team was just .06 off the nearly-ten-year-old state record, denying Leach her fourth state mark of the day.
Jacobson won two events herself, going 2:08.09 in the 200 IM and 1:06.77 in the 100 breast. On top of that, Hellgate showed depth in winning the 200 free relay without either of their studs. The team of Baylee Everett, Vernon, Ellen Sears and Mitchell went 1:43.91 to hold off Billings Central.
Sentinel’s Andrea Schmidt won two titles, crushing the 200 free field in 1:56.72 and taking the 100 free in 52.89. Meanwhile Big Sky’s Kate Zimmer won back-to-back titles, taking the 50 free in 23.87 and coming back in the next event to go 56.07 for the 100 fly win.
Top 5 Teams
1 Missoula Hellgate 306
2 Bozeman High School 217
3 CM Russell High School 115
4 Billings Central High School 108
5 Capital High School 102
The Hellgate boys also won the title, but did it on the strength of their relays. They put together winning relays to start and end the meet, and piled up enough points in between to hold off Bozeman and Helena, which tied for second.
Cale Berkoff, Patrick Martyak, John Szekely and Reed Bachman went 1:39.72 to blow away the 200 medley relay field for an early points lead. That same foursome came back at the end of the meet to go 3:20.10 and win the 400 free relay by over three seconds.
Helena High won the other relay, the 200 free. Nick Angeli, Stephen Murphy, Colton Bauer and Pete Kotson went 1:33.61 to beat Glacier for the title. Kotson won two titles in addition to that relay, going 21.79 in the 50 free and 47.58 in the 100 free. Helena also got a 500 free win from senior Pat Hooks in 4:59.22.
Bozeman also had a double-winner in tying Helena for the runner-up spot. Jason Smith won the 200 IM (1:56.85) and 100 back (51.92)
Other winners were Billings Central’s Pierce Oja in the 200 free, Patrick Brennan of Rustlers in the 100 fly and Big Sky freshman Adam Zimmer in the 100 breast.
Top 5 Teams
1 Missoula Hellgate 235
2 Bozeman High School 182
2 Helena High School 182
4 CM Russell High School 121
5 Glacier High School 93