Kalispell Swimmers Head to State

By Beacon Staff

Nineteen swimmers from Glacier and Flathead high schools will close out their seasons at this weekend’s state swim meet in Great Falls.

Brandon Rannebarger, head coach at both Flathead and Glacier, said he’s proud of how his teams have competed all season long and hopes they can cap the year with strong performances at state, held Feb. 10-11 at the Great Falls High School pools.

Glacier is sending 11 swimmers to the state meet, including six boys and five girls. Flathead has eight swimmers slated to compete, with six girls and two boys.

Rannebarger said he was happy to have more girls from Flathead come out for swimming this season and would like to see the same happen on the boys team in the future. Ben Mason and Michael Scaccia, both seniors, will represent Flathead at the state meet, while the girls will be led by a group that includes Hailie Maas, a junior captain. Maas is competing in freestyle events at state.

“The leadership (Maas) brings is very inspiring and it motivates everybody,” Rannebarger said.

One younger girl to keep an eye on for Flathead, Rannebarger said, is sophomore Mckenzie Lane, who is swimming in both the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly individual events at state, as well as relays.

“She’s going to be doing some big things for us in the future,” Rannebarger said.

On the Glacier girls team, Rannebarger said Sara Burch “has been awesome from a leadership standpoint.” Burch is entered into the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle individual preliminaries at state.

Another leader for the Wolfpack is senior Maxie Scroggs, who is wrapping up a successful high school career and looking ahead to starting a new swimming career in college. Rannebarger expects Scroggs to compete well in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke events in Great Falls. She is also entered into the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

“She’s definitely going to be doing some great things in college,” Rannebarger said.

Rannebarger expects MaKenna Siebenaler, who he calls “an awesome freestyler,” to perform well at state. In addition to two freestyle relay events, Siebenaler is entered into the 200 freestyle and 50 freestyle individual preliminaries.

“She’s very strong in the water,” Rannebarger said. “We’ve been doing some tweaking and I think with the adjustments she will be quicker.”

For Glacier’s boys, Jacob Williams has been swimming well in the 500 freestyle, Rannebarger said, placing high at a number of meets over the course of the season. Rannebarger believes Williams will continue his hot streak at state.

“You can’t say anything about him without saying hard worker,” Rannebarger said. “He’s always, always pushing in practice.”

Other Glacier boys competing at state this weekend are Logan Streit, Kyler Johnson, Tanner Freese, John Ahles and Alex Augusta. Rounding out Glacier’s girls roster are Maddie Walters and Jenna Kintzler.

For Flathead, Sara Jensen, Johanna Ward, Lauren Daffern and Jenna Wilke are also entered into events at state.