Swim-off win brings CMR’s first

“Madi! Madi! Madi! Madi!” the crowd chants in the last seconds of the boys 500 yard freestyle.

The last swimmer finishes up, the official orders the pool cleared, and sophomore Madi Smith walks up to the lane five starting block.

“It was loud,” Smith recalled.

She steps up.

“Take your mark,” the official monotonously states after the crowd calms down.


The swim-off for sixth place — the last position in finals — for the girls 100 yard butterfly began.

“There was a lot of pressure on me to do good,” she said.

The crowd erupts. Everyone who ventured on Feb. 14 from Great Falls to the Butte YMCA joined in a cheer, “Let’s go Madi, let’s go!”

“There was a lot of people watching,” Madi said.

She reaches the final wall, turning as fast as she could so that she would not hear the crowd.

At the finish, she beats her competition; winning the C. M. Russell and Great Falls High Schools’ first swim-off.

“I felt really good.”

The following day, she took sixth in the 100-yard butterfly final.