Melbye seeing some good times for this early in the season.

With a limited roster, the Pirate girls’ swimming team this fall isn’t overly focused on how they do on the team level at competitions. Sure, they’d like to score more points than their opponents at duals like the ones Thursday against Fosston-Bagley and Perham-New York Mills at the Fosston pool, but Head Coach Marley Melbye said it’s a tall task.

“When push comes to shove, yes, we struggle because of our lack of athletes,” Melbye tells the Times. “But we are really not focused on if our team wins or loses. The beautiful thing about swimming is the fact that it is an individual sport and that the clock dictates if it is a good performance or not.”

The Pirates on Thursday lost to Perham 59-34 and to Fosston-Bagley by a score of 66-26.

Madison Hoiland led the way for the Pirates with two first-place finishes, in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breast stroke. The Pirates notched two second-place finishes as well, with Fallon Johnson taking second in the 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Johnson, Mackenzie Aamoth, Claire Oman and Madison Hoiland coming in second as well.

Melbye said Hoiland’s 50 free time of 27.72 was “exceptional,” especially for this early in the season. Melbye said it gives her hope that Hoiland will continue to cut time as the season progresses. She also noted Hoiland’s first place in the 100 breast stroke was impressive as well.

Overall, the meet was a good opportunity for the Pirates to measure themselves against strong swimmers as they get more comfortable with racing. “We as a team are working on finding what races the individual athletes will have the most success in as the season progresses,” Melbye said.