The gamesmanship has begun in the Southeast swim circles as coaches are tight-lipped about who will swim what events at this weekend’s Region V Swim & Dive Championshps at the Dimond park Aquatic Center.
At least the Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain coaching staff is mum about who will represent the Crimson Bears and Falcons.
“The ultimate goal is to win the meet,” Thunder Mountain coach Jason Wilson said. “It is to have swimmers swim their best but you are also putting them in events that can get them the most points and the best placements.”
Juneau-Douglas coach John Wray stated the heat sheets would be available when all the teams are here.
“We just have a way of doing things and we have always done it this way,” Wray said. “Once you submit your entries they are in, but if one region has a requirement to submit them a week before another, it gives that later region an unfair advantage.”
There is, however, no secret to the Crimson Bears this season, nor the Falcons. There is also no big mystery as to who has been sweeping the team standings all year as the Sitka Wolves have been topping the boys lanes, followed by Petersburg and Thunder Mountain, while the JDHS girls have been providing a solid statement about the female mystique. They can never overlook Ketchikan, as the Kings took the title last season and have always been a traditional rivalry.
JDHS junior Ciera Kelly holds the fastest region times this year in the 200 freestyle (state best 2:00.58), 200 individual medley (state best and Region V record 2:09.68), 50 free (state best 23.82), 100 fly (state best 58.31), 100 free (53.10), 100 back (state best 58.16), and the 100 breast (state best 1:09.25). She is also a member of the Southeast’s, and the state’s, fastest 200 IM relay this season: Sophomore Eliza Chappell (back), junior Dakota Isaak (breast), Kelly (fly) and sophomore Rielly Walsh (free) swam a 1:52.65.
In addition Kelly and Isaak won the state champonship last season in the 200 medley relay (with senior Haley Mertz, back, and alumna Talyn Ramos, free) in 1:49.00.
“So we have high standards for that,” Kelly said. “I would like to swim that one again.”
JDHS has so many strong girls this year that coach John Wray has not revealed who will swim what events. The Crimson Bears could qualify more than half of their girls team. Athletes such as Kelly, Isaak, Walsh, Chappell, H. Mertz, seniors Addie Gnwa Ramonda and Dakota Scranton, junior Abigail Taylor-Roth, sophomores Kaia Hamrick, Sophia Kaelke, and freshmen Gabi Kito, Sarah Mertz, Mia Ruffin, Tasha Elizarde, and Emme MacDonald could all qualify, among others.
“We could really put anyone in any relay and do a good job,” Kelly said. “But now it depends on who swims what before the relays.”
An athlete, for instance, would be pressed to put in a strong 200 free performance directly before the 100 back, which follows.
Athletes are allowed to swim up to two individual events along with two relays, or one individual event and three relays.
Kelly could influence where other teams place their swimmers.
According to information given to the Ketchikan Daily News from their swim coach (the Juneau Empire has decided to not post the region heat sheet), Ketchikan has a solid 500 free swimmer in Kiera O’Brien with the region’s fastest time of 5:27.24 (sixth in state). The Kings’ Maddy Stephens has been solid in the 200 free (2:03.57 is third fastest in region behind Kelly and Kito) and the 100 back (1:04.56, second in regions). Kayhi’s Ella Sherrill has been solid in the sprints, posting a 25.27 in the 50 free (seventh in state) and 54.87 in the 100 free (seventh state). If JDHS loads up the medley and 200 free relays, the Kings could take the 400 free relay.
Falcons junior Hannah Brockmann has posted top 16 state times in the 50 free (25.82, fifth southeast) and 100 fly (1:03.26, fourth SE), 100 breast (1:14.76, fifth SE) and 200 IM (2:20.03, third SE).
“Of course, I have to swim the 100 fly because it is my favorite race and I have always loved it since I was really little,” Kelly said. “I also want to do the 200 IM, the 50 free or the 100 back. I feel like those I could probably put a big statement on. But really, the only thing I want is for our girls to win regions.”
TMHS’ Kenny Fox holds the fastest region times this season in the 200 free (1:49.13), 200 IM (2:01.23), 50 free (state best 22.04), 100 fly (state best 53.43), 100 free (49.29), 500 free (4:59.54), and 100 breast (1:02.27). In addition, Fox won the 100 fly state title last season in 52.25.
“My favorite events, or what I would like to swim, include of course the 100 fly,” Fox said. “Because I did win that last year. I like to think I am swimming faster, at least that is what I shoot for. I like the 50 free because it is just an exciting race to swim. I like the 200 IM because it shows a great range of different stroke techniques and that you are an all around good swimmer. I like the 100 free because it is just a fun race.”
Falcons teammate Thane Reishus-O’Brien is battling Petersburg’s Abe Aulbach and Vincent Kowalski in the 200 free and 50 free, along with Sitka’s Louis Belley, Specer Combs and RJ Miller. Reishus-O’Brien also has heat from the Vikings Evan Marsh and Craig’s Micah Stickwan have made waves in the 100 fly.
Belley won the 200 IM state title last season and is edging Fox, Reishus-O’Brien and Marsh in the regions this year. Marsh is leading the 100 back over Belley, Fox, Kowalski and TMHS’ Trevor Jones. Jones and Falcons teammate Jordan Davis could battle in the 500 free with Sitka’s Will Pate, Fox and Kowalski. Falcons seniors Josiah Loseby and Calvin Walsh are also looking to cap off their careers this weekend. TMHS girls’ Erica McCormick, Alyxandra Heaton, Dana Bogatko, Taylor Beardslee, Naomi Ferster, Jamie Yaletchko and Madison Gregory hope to advance.
Ketchikan’s Luke Jones will take the men’s diving competition along with TMHS’s Terra Pierce for the women.
The bottom line for swimmers is, however, swim as fast as you can if you want to make the state tournament next weekend, also held at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center. Provided, however, you are not on a taper.
Some swimmers are going easier (tapering) to allow muscles to build up. The same team could have swimmers tapering for regions and state. Tapering can be dangerous if a swimmer relaxes too much and misses the qualifying time or finish.
“Really for me, regions is kind of a stepping stone towards state,” Kelly said. “Hopefully, I will go fast in both meets, but state is where I want to make the most statement. I actually don’t look at the top 16 times in the state. I just like to swim.”
Said TMHS’ Fox, also tapering for state, “I like all races. I just like to race.”
The top winners in each individual event (at every regional) qualify for state along with the next best times to fill a field of 16. In relays the winner in each region plus the next best times fill a field of eight at state.
REGION V CHAMPIONSHIP SWIMMING & DIVING MEET RECORDS
200 MEDLEY RELAY:
Girls - JUNEAU / Rutecki, Heifetz, M. Bogert, S. Bogert, 2007 / 1:47.86.
Boys - JUNEAU / Brunette, Cayce, Mickelson, Rutecki / 2009 / 1:36.33.
Top 2013 Region V time (girls/boys)- JDHS 1:52.65 / Sitka 1:42.54.
Top 2013 State time (girls/boys)- JDHS 1:52.65 / Kodiak 1:42.25.
Girls - Laura Miller, Kayhi, 2005 / 1:52.20.
Boys - Cody Brunette, JD, 2008 / 1:40.58.
Top 2013 Region V time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 2:00.58 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 1:49.13.
Top 2013 State time - Tahna Lindquist, Kodiak / Michael Summers, Dimond 1:47.96.
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY:
Girls - Ciera Kelly, JD, 2013 / 2:09.68.
Boys - Cody Brunette, JD, 2009 / 1:54.79.
Top 2013 Region V time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 2:09.68 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 2:01.23.
Top 2013 State time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 2:09.68 / Michael Summers, Dimond 2:00.50.
Girls - Laura Miller, Kayhi, 2006 / 23.82.
Boys - Nick Rutecki, JD, 2008 / 21.18.
Top 2013 Region V time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 24.01 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 22.04.
Top 2013 State time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 24.01 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 22.04.
DIVING - 6:
Girls - Mary Myerchin, JD, 1989 / 223.85.
Boys - Ryan Borup, Kayhi, 2007 / 330.85.
Top 2013 Region V time - Terra Pierce, TMHS 158.40 / Luke Jones, Kayhi, 248.10.
Top 2013 State time - Jami Stone, Eagle River 217.50 / Zachary Campbell, Lathrop 251.45.
Girls - Mary Myerchin, JD, 1989 / 436.50.
Boys - Ryan Borup, Kayhi, 2007 / 598.20.
Top 2013 Region V time - unknown
Top 2013 State time - unknown
Girls - Melissa Bogert, JD, 2007 / 56.15.
Boys - Cody Brunette, JD, 2008 / 49.19.
Top 2013 Region V time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 58.31 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 53.43.
Top 2013 State time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 58.31 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 53.43.
Girls - Laura Miller, Kayhi, 2006 / 51.17.
Boys - Derek Gibb, PHS, 1998 / 46.27.
Top 2013 Region V time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 53.10 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 49.29.
Top 2013 State time - Ila Hughes, Kodiak 52.84 / EZ Hogue-Corwin, Service 48.88.
Girls - Kristin Jones, JD, 2006 / 5:05.50.
Boys - Sean Seaver, Kayhi, 1998 / 4:42.26.
Top 2013 Region V time - Kiera O’Brien, Kayhi 5:27.24 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 4:59.54.
Top 2013 State time - Tahna Lindquist, Kodiak 5:09.58 / Michael Summers, Dimond 4:45.70.
200 FREE RELAY:
Girls - JUNEAU / S. Bogert, A. Jones, Rutecki, DiCostanzo, 2006 / 1:37.90.
Boys - JUNEAU / Brunette, Cayce, Anderson, Rutecki, 2008 / 1:26.83.
Top 2013 Region V time - JDHS 1:41.85 / Petersburg 1:32.48.
Top 2013 State time - JDHS 1:41.85 / Service 1:30.86.
Girls - Janelle Stacey, Kayhi, 2011 / 56.21.
Boys - Scott Peterson, JD, 1991 / 52.04.
Top 2013 Region V time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 58.16 / Evan Marsh, Petersburg 54.51.
Top 2013 State time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 58.16 / Evan Marsh, Petersburg 54.51.
Girls - Elizabeth Jagusch, Kayhi, 2006 / 1:05.61.
Boys - Paul Hughes, JD, 2002 / 58.10.
Top 2013 Region V time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 1:09.25 / Kenny Fox, TMHS 1:02.27.
Top 2013 State time - Ciera Kelly, JDHS 1:09.25 / tommy O’Donoghue, West Valley 1:01.53.
400 FREE RELAY:
Girls - JUNEAU / S. Bogert, K. Jones, Kelly, M. Bogert, 2007 / 3:35.62.
Boys - JUNEAU / Messing, Schick, Anderson, Mickelson, 2010 / 3:14.10.
Top 2013 Region V time - Kayhi 3:48.62 / Petersburg 3:23.09.
Top 2013 State time - Eagle River 3:34.63 / Petersburg 3:23.09.