Following are the Tunder Mountain High School swim and dive senior biographies as prepared by the Falcons’ coaches.
Matthew Seagren - Matthew is a senior diver for the Thunder Mountain High School Swim and Dive Team. Matthew has been a diver for 4 years and learned much. To be a diver, it requires a mastery of ones self; involving balance, flexibility, strength, timing and foresight. To be a great diver requires courage. Courage allows a diver to dare to attempt something new, to throw themselves into the open and hope it will turn out all right. Matthew is a great diver and has the courage to throw himself into the open. Matthew wants to head to Fairbanks to learn about finance, math and investments. Whatever it may be, Matthew will throw himself out there and it will turn out all right.
Jonelle Staveland - Jonelle is a very special addition to the girl’s team this year. She is recovering from a basketball injury that has sparked her interest in swimming and the healing powers it has to offer. Her presence this year has been such a huge blessing to the team – she brings laughter, enthusiasm, hard work and determination to the pool and has been an excellent role model for the younger girls on the team. While this is her first year swimming, she has been overheard saying that she wishes she had been introduced to the sport much sooner. After she graduates she would like to attend a University, perhaps in Alaska, as well as play basketball again. This girl has a lot going for her... expect great things!
Carmen Smith - Carmen is a born soccer player, but has also competed in both swimming and diving throughout her years at TMHS and has been a great leader for both groups of kids. The improvements she has made this year alone are an inspiration to the other kids and the humor she finds in what most would consider mundane work is refreshing. She has a special spark that is hard to ignore and will carry this into whatever lays ahead for her. She is hoping to play soccer at and attend college outside of Alaska somewhere, although she has yet to decide where.
Hannah Vogt - Hannah recently moved to Alaska from Hawaii with her parents, this is her first year with the Swim team here at TMHS and has made vast improvements over the past two months. She attentively listens to suggestions from coaches and teammates and works hard to improve this way – this is one of the greatest skills an athlete can possess, and it will help her whether she is swimming or sitting in a classroom. After she graduates she plans on moving back to Hawaii and attending the University of Hawaii. It has been a blessing to have her here this year, and while she was only here for a short time her presence will be felt even when she has moved on to the next chapter in her life.
Gerald Gardner - Gerry has been an outstanding member of the swim team from day one. He is consistently putting 100% into every training session and has gone above and beyond in every aspect of the season. If we could have a “Gerry” on the team every year we would jump at the opportunity! Whatever the results show for him at the end of the season - it’s important to remember that the journey is much more important than the destination, and is where memories that last a lifetime are made. Gerry is planning on attending college and has set the bar high, at least in regards to what coaches expectations of him are... Good luck Gerry!
Luke Brockmann - Luke has been swimming since 2004. Luke was the true definition of a ‘late bloomer.’ Until about 10th grade, Luke was probably the smallest swimmer in his age group. He always worked hard, even though his peers were bigger, stronger, and faster. Once Luke finally caught up, his time finally arrived. People who watched Luke swim in elementary or middle school never would have guessed he would be one of the best swimmers in the state by the time he graduated. This is due to the hard work he had to do all those years to keep up with his teammates and competitors. He is a true team player, always pushing his teammates and leading by example. He enjoys the outdoors and can often be seen tying flies on the ferry rides to swim meets.
Selene Smith - Selene has been swimming since 2002. As a younger swimmer, she always picked the longer races. Her attitude was strong and steady will win the race. Except for a year or two when Selene’s family traveled to Abu Dhabi, she has always been at the pool swimming and hanging out with her teammates. Selene’s wit and knowledge keeps her teammates having fun while they work hard every day.
Jimmie Busch - Jimmie is our team captain this year and is a wonderful team leader and a great example for the other swimmers. He is among the first swimmers to swim for TMHS for all four years, before high school Jimmie swam for Glacier Swim Club for many years. The coaches have high hopes for him this weekend at our regional championships in Ketchikan. After high school Jimmie is looking at possibly going to Montana for college. We will miss Jimmie very much next year!