It's almost been a tale of two teams for the Butte High swimmers this year.
The boys' team has been led by experienced swimmers that have set, or may set school records at this weekend's State Swim Meet in Great Falls, while the girls' team has had to learn on the fly with just one senior and the rest of the team made up of freshmen and sophomores.
But through it all the thing that has stood out to head coach Lynn Shrader is how much improvement each team has made since the start of the year.
"They've improved immensely," she said of both teams. "Almost every person on each team has had person bests this year, and that's very good. They've worked hard. The teams are a lot more relaxed this year and had more fun, and that's carried over into hard work in practice."
The boys' team hopes that a group of four swimmers will be the difference this year in helping them place among the Top-5. Shrader thinks the boys' team could be among the Top-3 if all goes well for them.
"I'd love to be Top-5," she said. "We were seventh last year, and I'd love to be Top-5. Everybody wants Top-3 and there's an outside chance of that."
Leading the way for the Bulldog boys is Jake Bentley, who will race in the 200-and 500-meter freestyle. Bentley has a strong chance to take home the state title in the 500 and has come on strong late in the season, according to Shrader.
Zach Johnson is another name to watch for the boys. The sprinter is just a freshman, but has placed well throughout the season and should be among the Top-12, and possibly Top-6, in both his races.
The Komm brothers, Kyle and Trevor, make up half of the 200 and 400 relay teams along with Bentley and Johnson. Shrader hopes that the relay teams, where points count double, can perform strong and place among the Top-3. Shrader has said that the group has a strong chance at setting the school record in the 200.
On the girls side, with just one senior the season has been more about gaining experience, but Shrader has been impressed with their work ethic in the build to the state meet.
"They have really worked hard," she said of the Lady Bulldog swimmers. "We have just one senior, so they're really young."
Elsie Dickerson is one swimmer to keep and eye on for the girls, with the chance to score points in the 200 individual medley and the 500 free.
Cynthis Trudgeon is another swimmer that Shrader thinks has a strong chance to score points in her events this weekend.
Like the boys, Shrader is putting a heavy emphasis on the girls' relay swimmers, but is also hoping that like much of the year, they can post person bests at the biggest meet of the year.
"I'm hoping that all three relays will finish in the Top-12 and we can place," she said. "But I'm hoping we post personal bests and get some in the Top-12. For our senior, we want that to happen."