March 12, 2014
Tarpons make big splash at state meet
3/12/2014 The Montana Standard
The Butte Tarpon Swim Team had a strong showing at the Montana Swimming Short Course Championships this past weekend at the University of Montana. The Tarpons sent only 12 swimmers to the event but finished with 37 points in the combined team standings.
Grant Robins, 12, turned in an impressive showing for the boys’ team, while Taylor Bushman, 8, did likewise for the girls. Robins and Bushman combined to score 19 points toward the team total, with Robins scoring 10 of those points.
Robins placed fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke (four points), sixth in the 50-yard breaststroke (3), seventh in the 100-yard butterfly (2), and eighth in the 50-yard butterfly (1). It was his first time competing in an event of this magnitude and with nearly 400 participants.
Bushman finished sixth in the 25-yard butterfly and the 50-yard backstroke, picking up three team points in each event. She also picked up points for her strong work in the 25-yard backstroke and the 50-yard freestyle.
“They did fantastic this weekend,” coach Emily Hallgrimson said. “I was so proud of them.”
Bushman placed 11th in the girls 8-and-under category for the number of points she earned.
“The Tarpons did really well,” said Tarpons official Susan Huckeby. “We had several swimmers make it into the finals, and every (Tarpon) swimmer set one or more personal best times at the meet.”
Josiah Dunham and Baylee Furthmyre also picked up valuable points for the team, with Dunham, 14, doing so in the 100 breaststroke, 50 breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke.
The 10-year-old Furthmyre scored her points in the 50 freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.
All swimmers participated within their own age groups and genders.
In the relay events, the team of Kallie Hossack, Xana Skocilich, Bushman and Furthmyre came in eighth place in the girls’ 10-and-under 400-yard freestyle, turning in a time of 6:13.78.
Furthmyre, Bushman, Hossack and Camille Kautzman also teamed up for an eighth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay for the same age group and division.
The 200-yard freestyle relay, for girls 10-and-under, saw the Tarpons turn in another eighth-place, points-earning finish. This time it was Hossack, Skocilich, Furthmyre and Teyla Williams who put their hard work to good use, and finished with a time of 2:45.03.
“They have worked very hard,” said Hallgrimson, a student at Montana Tech. “But I can only do so much with them. What they do in the water is up to them. “They went through a lot of changes this year, so to go to state and do what they did is amazing.”
Some of that praise seems to belong to the Hallgrimson, and the job she did as the Tarpons’ first-year coach. She was able to find the right combination of instruction, patience and encouragement to watch the swimmers gain confidence with every splash and stroke. “All kids are a work in progress,” said Hallgrimson, a former camp counselor and nanny. “You can’t expect them to do things that they aren’t taught to do yet. You have to go in with patience, and roll with the punches.”
Other Tarpon swimmers who competed at the state meet were Camille Kautzman, Margaret LaFave, Aubrey Tuss, Kaylee Tuss and Elsie Dickerson.