Juneau-Douglas High School’s Nathan Messing splashed and dashed his way to a pair of state championships at Saturday’s ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming & Diving State Championships in Anchorage.
Neither one came without a fight, as Messing won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.88 seconds, just 13/100ths of a second faster than second-place finisher Richard Ginter from Homer.
Messing won his second gold medal in the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.18, two-tenths of a second better than Louis Belly from Sitka.
The Crimson Bears nearly won a third state title in the 200 medley relay event. The JDHS squad of Haley Mertz, Dakota Isaak, Auri Clark and Ciera Kelly finished just 3/100ths of a second behind the foursome from Ketchikan, which won with a time of 1:49.88.
Overall, Juneau-Douglas’ 13 state finalists powered the Crimson Bears to a fourth-place finish at the championships. Dimond High School claimed the state title with 197 team points. Kodiak was second with 159, Ketchikan third with 102 and JDHS posted 85. Thunder Mountain High School finished in 16th place with 12 points
Other state finalists for the Crimson Bears included Clark, eighth in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 100 fly; Isaak, fifth in the 200 individual medley and fourth in the 100 breaststroke; Kelly, third in the 50 free and 100 fly; Keith Andrews, seventh in boys’ 1-meter diving and Mertz, seventh in the 100 back. The girls’ 200 free relay team (Clark, Tayln Ramos, Isaak and Kelly) took third and the 400 free relay squad (Savannah Cayce, Claressa Ullmayer, Ramos and Mertz) finished in fourth place.
State placers for Thunder Mountain included Kenny Fox, seventh in the boys’ 50 free and 100 fly; Calvin Walsh, eighth in the boys’ 500 free and Hanna Brockman, eighth in the girls’ 100 breast. The Falcons’ boys’ 200 free relay team (Thane Reishus-O’Brien, Tanner Olliff, Walsh and Fox) took eighth and the boys’ 400 free relay squad (Fox, Walsh, Jimmie Busch and Reishus-O’Brien) finished in seventh.