Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé and Thunder Mountain swim and dive teams head to the Southeast Region V Championships in Ketchikan this weekend and banners could be returning with them to hang about the pools at Augustus Brown and Dimond Park Aquatic Center.
“I think both the guys and the girls side have a shot to win overall,” JDHS coach Seth Cayce said. “I think it is going to be between us and Thunder Mountain on both sides there. I would certainly like to see both guys and girls win. That is certainly a possibility if we compete and compete well.”
A big question with all championship meets is how best to divide up swimmers to ensure the highest number of team points and state qualifiers.
An athlete can only participate in four races and cannot do more than two individual races. Commonly an athlete might swim two individual races and two relays or even three relays and one individual event.
The capital city boasts some of this season’s fastest times in Alaska.
On the boys side, TMHS sophomore Patrick Foy has state best times in the 50 free in 21.16 (4th Wrangell’s Nikolai Siekawitch 22.59, 5th JDHS junior Chaz VanSlyke 22.60); the 100 free in 48.01 (3rd JDHS senior Tytan Frawley 48.76, 7th Craig’s Ethan Dill 49.31); the 200 free in 1:43.86 (6th JDHS Frawley 1:49.58, 8th CHS Dill 1:49.97); the 500 free in 4:49.56 (5th JDHS Frawley 5:00.29, 9th TMHS junior Sven Rasmussen 5:11.17); the 100 breast in 58.82 (7th TMHS Karthik Sanguni 1:03.25, 10th WRG Siekawitch 1:03.75); the 100 fly in 51.14 (3rd JDHS VanSlyke 53.89, 9th TMHS sophomore Benson Boudreaux 55.29); and the 200 IM in 1:54.81 (5th JDHS Frawley 2:03.43, 7th JDHS VanSlyke 2:04.58).
Foy is fourth across the state in the 100 back in 56.03 (3rd CHS Dill 55.70, 5th JDHS junior Harrison Holt 56.17). The top time is Kodiak’s Ian Racheleau in 53.97.
JDHS has the top boys 200 medley relay time in the state with 1:40.41 (2nd Kodiak 1:40.48; 3rd TMHS 1:41.65) and the second fastest boys 200 free relay in 1:32.05 (4th TMHS 1:32.72). The top relay time is Dimond in 1:31.34.
The Crimson Bears also have the second fastest boys 400 free relay in 3:22.78 (3rd TMHS 3:23.47) - the fastest time is Dimond in 3:21.81.
On the girls side, JDHS sophomore Samantha Schwarting has the fourth fastest 500 free in 5:28.64 (5th JDHS freshman Pacific Ricke 5:30.86, 6th TMHS senior Nancy Liddle 5:32.24) - top time is Dimond’s Dreamer Kowatch in 5:11.10.
TMHS sophomore Olivia Mills has the ninth fastest 50 free in the state with 25.40 (8th WRG Renee Roberts 25.38) - top time is Dimond’s Isabelle Broke in 24.36.
Mills has the 11th fastest 100 free in 55.79 (7th WRG Roberts 55.32, 15th TMHS freshman Caitlin Sanders 56.08) - top is Homer’s Jillian Crooks 52.61.
Schwarting has the sixth fastest 200 free in 2:03.71 (10th Sitka’s Emma Gassman 2:04.20, 11th JDHS Ricke 2:04.45, 12th TMHS Liddle 2:04.48) - top time is Homer’s Crooks 1:53.46.
Schwarting has the eighth fastest 100 back 1:02.56 (11th TMHS Sanders 1:03.36) - top time is Homer’s Crooks in 59.24.
JDHS freshman Emma Fellman has the fourth fastest 100 breast time of 1:07.65 (9th TMHS senior Jamie Heidersdorf 1:10.22, 13th JDHS freshman Parker Boman 1:13.06) - Seward Olympic champion Lydia Jacoby has the fastest time of 59.40.
JDHS’ Fellman has the sixth fastest 200 IM time with 2:16.20 (11th JDHS Schwarting 2:18.59). The top time is Colony’s Jasmine Anderson in 2:11.04 followed by Dimond’s Kowatch in 2:11.45 and Seward’s Jacoby in 2:12.90.
TMHS’ Liddle has the 13th fastest 100 fly in 1:03.44 (15th JDHS Schwarting 1:03.96) - top time is Lathrop’s Avery Hafele 58.01.
TMHS has the third fastest girls 200 free relay with 1:44.55 (7th JDHS 1:45.01) - top time is Dimond in 1:40.24 and Eagle River in 1:43.31.
JDHS has the third fastest girls 400 free relay with 3:51.11 (5th TMHS 3:51.35) - top time is Dimond in 3:45.66 and Eagle River in 3:50.12.
JDHS and TMHS have the fourth and fifth fastest girls 200 medley relay times with the Crimson Bears at 1:55.19 and the Falcons 1:55.29. The top medley team is Dimond in 1:50.82, followed by Colony 1:51.03 and Eagle River 1:53.07.
Another factor in the push toward the region and state championships is tapering, where swimmers decrease their training volume while increasing their rest to prepare their bodies to go best times. A coach wouldn’t want a region swimmer to be spent before state or before regions, yet staying fresh across both weekends can be taxing and a swimmer has to qualify for state through a strong region tournament showing.
“I’ve got two different groups,” Cayce said. “A week and a half out from regions I’ve got basically a region taper group and a state taper group. And with the state taper group those are kids that I am 99% sure will make state, based on their times and where they are seeded throughout the state. Unless they disqualify they are going to make state in their races. I don’t want to taper them too soon because we want them to be swimming fast at state as well. About 10 days out from the competition is when we typically start tapering so last Tuesday we started the region group and this past Tuesday we did the state group.”
Swimmers are built up all season.
“We push them hard,” Cayce said. “We kind of want to break them down, but breaking them down is also building up that base. We have a lot of hard sets. We swim fast, long and hard. The idea of the taper is once we have that good base than really pull it back and they just basically start their rest period. If they have been practicing hard all year long they should hit their taper and swim fast when it counts most.”
Following are JDHS team members competing at the Region V Championships in Ketchikan on Friday and Saturday:
Ava Baird, jr. - 50 free, 100 back; Madelyn Boman, sr. - 100 free, 50 free; Parker Boman, fr. - 100 free, 100 breast; Gabby Brown, jr. - diving; Chris Degener, jr. - 200 IM, 500 free; Emily Delgado, so. - 200 IM, 100 fly; Emma Fellman, fr. - 200 IM, 100 breast; Tytan Frawley, sr. - 200 free, 500 free; Tahlia Gerger, sr. - 200 IM, 100 back; Harrison Holt, jr. - 200 free, 100 back; Brooklyn Kanouse, fr. - 200 free, 100 fly; Erin MacDonald, so. - 50 free, 100 free; Addy Mallott, sr. - 100 free, 100 back; Jackson Marx, sr. - diving; Anita Morrison, so. - 50 free, 500 free; Aaron Mulgrew-Truitt, jr. - 50 free, 100 free; Adrell Mulgrew-Truitt, sr. - 50 free, 100 free; Joe Pallenberg, fr. - 100 back, 100 breast; Matthew Plang, fr. - 100 fly, 100 breast; Cole Reel, fr. - 50 free, 100 free; Pacific Ricke, fr. - 200 free, 500 free; Owen Rumsey, fr. - 50 free, 100 free; Samantha Schwarting, so. - 200 free, 500 free; Chaz VanSlyke, fr. - 200 IM, 100 fly; and Adrian Whitney, sr. - diving, 100 back.
TMHS team members competing include:
Gabrielle Anderson, so. - 200 IM, 100 back; Samson Anderson, sr. - 200 free, 100 free; Owen Berger, jr. - diving, 500 free; Benson Boudreaux, so. - 100 fly, 100 back; Nova Brakes-Hines, fr. - 500 free, 100 back; Cael Brown, sr. - 50 free, 100 free; Cameron Brown, fr. - 50 free, 100 free; Jenny Chester, sr. - 200 IM, 100 breast; Sig Cunningham, jr. - diving, 500 free; Brayden DeTienne-Falls, fr. - diving; Kristofer Ely, sr. - 50 free, 100 free; Patrick Foy, so. - 200 IM, 100 breast; Matthew Godkin, fr. - 200 free, 100 back; Jamie Heidersdorf, sr. - 100 fly, 100 breast; Alex Jenkins, jr. - 50 free, 100 free; Sadie Jenkins, jr. - 50 free, 100 back; Samuel Kiessling, sr. - diving, 500 free; Nancy Liddle, sr. - 200 free, 500 free; Olivia Mills, so. - 50 free, 100 free; Sven Rasmussen, jr. - 200 IM, 100 fly; Caitlin Sanders, fr. - 100 free, 100 back; Karthik Sanguni, sr. - 50 free, 100 breast; and Teslin Smith, sr. - 50 free, 100 free.
Another obstacle this year is a shorter turnaround between the preliminaries at 5 p.m. Friday and the finals beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. Normally Saturday finals would begin at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.
“The turnaround between preliminaries and finals was a huge point of contention with the meet committee in Ketchikan,” Cayce said. “We have never done it this early before so we’ll see what happens but they’re all aware of it and I think we’ll swim as well as we can. Everybody’s in the same boat here so it is not like it is a disadvantage to one team or something like that.”
The first place individual swimmer from each conference championship meet (four across the state) automatically qualifies for the state championships. The next seven swimmers’ times from each conference championship meet are taken into consideration for the next 12 best statewide times to also qualify for state. That totals 16 swimmers in each state event.
The first place relay team from each conference championship qualifies for state and the next four across the various conference championships qualify, totaling eight relay teams for the state championships.
For divers, the top two finishers plus the next eight best scores across the state for a total of 16.
The Alaska School Activities Association First National Bank Alaska Swim & Dive State Championships are Nov. 5-6 at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
Messages seeking comment were left for TMHS coaching staff through multiple avenues.