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KALISPELL -- The defending state champion Missoula Hellgate boys picked up where they left off last swimming season, claiming the team trophy at the Kalispell Invitational swim meet on Saturday.

The Knights took first in six events, including the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

The Hellgate girls finished second behind Great Falls Russell. Sentinel took third.

Missoula's success came despite nearly 40 swimmers attending other events, including Junior Nationals and the Husky Invitational in Washington, according to coach Helen Houlihan.

"I'm just delighted with the way the kids swam," Houlihan said. "Our new kids just looked great and our veterans looked like champions.

"We don't get too worried with this first meet, (though), because we have so many conflicts with other area meets."

Those that made the trip to Kalispell dominated.

Hellgate's Uriah Kreilick won the 50-yard freestyle and finished fifth in the 100 free. Brendon Campbell finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke for the Knights.

Sentinel's Ryan Mason took first in the 100-yard backstroke and third in the 500-yard mixed freestyle.

On the girls' side, Andrea Schmidt defended her 200-yard freestyle state title with a win. Hellgate's Mari Rizzuto and Kelsey Ammons finished second and third, respectively. Schmidt also took first in the 100 butterfly.

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