With eight swimmers, it's tough to win meets, Melbye says, but girls are showing growth.

Thursday night at the Crookston Community Pool, the Pirates’ swim team hosted the Thief River Falls Prowlers in a dual swim meet. The Prowlers beat the Pirates, 198-48, the Pirates’ taking part in ten events, placing in the top three in eight.

Coach Marley Melbye talked about the difficulty they encounter with timing of meets and the season.

“Knowing this is the middle meet of three this week tends to make the girls struggle,” she said. “The middle of the season is also a difficult time for the girls.

“We went into this season knowing that with eight people signed up, we weren’t going to be winning meets,” Melbye stated. “You’re told to put three or four girls in every event. We’re lucky to put in one.” As winning meets is a lofty goal, Melbye instead set the team’s sights on individual growth, which she believes they are excelling at.

She noted several girls in particular. Madison Hoiland has cut time in both her 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke in a very short amount of time, Melbye saying that she is creating a great opportunity for success for herself. Hoiland won both the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke, clocking in at 30.72 and 1:26:76 respectively.

Claire Oman was also praised for her time cut of 2 seconds and a time of 3:14:05 in the 200-meter IM, placing third. “She had a great tempo and a fast pace,” Melbye said. “Many students hit a mid-season plateau. Claire decided to drop time, instead.”

Mackenzie Aamoth was also noted for her improvement in the 100-meter backstroke and 100-meter breaststroke, timing in at 1:24:89 and 1:29:81 respectively, placing third in both.

Other notable performances were the 400-meter freestyle relay, the girls scoring first, as well as Fallon Johnson’s second place in the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter medley relay group’s second place achievement.

The Pirates’ swim team will be back in the pool on Saturday at the Fosston-Bagley Invitational, beginning at noon.