Swim team, Redbirds have strong summers

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Lewistown’s new aquatic center hosts the State Federation Swim Meet during the first weekend of August in 2017.                                           Photo by Doreen Heintz

ports happen throughout the entire year in Central Montana. From rodeos to drag racing, from wrestling to tennis, there is always some type of sport to either watch or compete in. This story is about two exciting sports from this past summer – the Sea Lions and the Lewistown Redbirds.
The Sea Lions is the Lewistown swim team. The team competes from early June through the first week of August. Under the tutelage of Coach Ken Roberts, the Sea Lions had another successful season, which was capped off with the State Federation Swim Meet here in Lewistown on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6.
From ages under 8 to 18, the Sea Lions competed in meets throughout Montana in preparation for the divisional meet in Sidney. The Sea Lions finished second at the Eastern Divisional Meet, and 39 of the Sea Lions qualified for state.
It was the first state meet Lewistown had hosted since 2007, and it was the first meet at the new Lewistown Aquatic Center.
At the divisional meet, Alex Wickens, Noah Majerus and Bjorn Pederson won high point honors for their age groups.
The success of the Sea Lions continued at the state meet. Wickens and Majerus won three individual state titles in Lewistown, with Wickens finishing first in the 100-meter backstroke, the 100-meter breaststroke and the 200-meter individual medley. Wickens also set state records in the breaststroke and backstroke. Majerus’s wins came in the 100-meter freestyle, the 50-meter freestyle and the 400-meter freestyle. Majerus set a new state record in the 100-meter freestyle.
Andrea Russell and Megan Rindal also won individual titles at state. Russell won the 50-meter butterfly, while Rindal’s championship came in the 200-meter individual medley.
As a team, the Sea Lions finished second to the Bitterroot Swim Team at the state meet.

Redbirds overcome 11-year jinx
The Lewistown American Legion baseball team has competed well over the past several years, but has come up short in an effort to compete at the state level. In the past 11 years, the only time the Lewistown team has competed at the state tournament was a few years ago, when Lewistown hosted the state tournament.
This year, the Redbirds lifted their jinx at the Northern A District Tournament in Havre by winning four consecutive games. The Redbirds defeated Fort Macleod, 15-0, in their opening round games. In their second game, the Redbirds had to come from behind to defeat Medicine Hat, 21-11. The Birds shut out the Lethbridge Miners, 10-0, to advance to the district championship game. A 12-5 win over Medicine Hat gave the Redbirds the district championship.
Although the Birds looked forward to competing at the state tournament in Three Forks, the team only won one game, while losing two.
Andrew Lalum had a season that most baseball players can only dream about. He finished the season with a .502 batting average, the best hitting percentage of any Redbird ever. Tyler Lee came back after finishing his first year of college to play for the Redbirds. Lee finished his career as the leader in games played for the Redbirds with 329. He also has the most career wins on the mound with 42. At the plate, Lee finished with 1,059 career at bats, the most for any Redbird. He was also the career leader in doubles with 97.
Lalum, Lee, Eric Knox and Hunter Schell earned all-conference honors at the end of the season.



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