Shaved head helps Fishel shave time

Posted: Sunday, February 13, 2000

Mike Fishel of Juneau's Glacier Swim Club asked his father for a favor Friday morning.

Fishel, 10, felt he needed to cut an aerodynamic path through the water, so Fishel asked his father, Matt, to shave his head. A bit later, when Fishel reached the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool for the first day of the Mike Smithers Southeast Alaska Regional Championships, Fishel had a chromedome to make Telly Savalas or Yule Bryner proud.

``This definitely helps,'' Fishel said. ``I hate wearing caps.''

Fishel was one of three swimmers to break meet records in Saturday's second day of the meet, posting a time of 28.90 seconds in the boys age 10-younger 50-yard freestyle to break the 2-year-old of Matthew Way. That was Fishel's fifth event victory of the meet, which concludes today at 9 a.m. with the finals starting about 2 p.m. Fishel also won the 100-yard individual medley and the 50 butterfly on Friday and he won the 50 backstroke and the 200 IM on Saturday.

``I got a new record,'' Fishel said as his right hand rubbed his hairless head Saturday. ``It was 75-percent the hair. I'm proud of it. So far I've got 100-percent best times (personal records).''

The other records set Saturday were by Travis Watson of Sitka's Baranof Barracudas Swim Club in the boys age 15-19 division 200-yard breaststroke, with a time of 2:16.74 set in the preliminaries; and by Grant Wadley of the Ketchikan Killer Whales in the age 8-younger 25-yard freestyle.

On Friday, three individual records and two relay records were broken. Wadley broke the boys age 8-younger 50-yard butterfly record, Sitka's Alexandra Broschat broke the girls age 8-younger 50 fly record, and by Ketchikan's Laura Miller in the girls age 8younger 100 free. The relay records were set in the 200-yard medley relay by Sitka's age 10-younger boys team of Gavin McGowan, Benjamin Campen, Alex Dailey and Jamie Gorman; and in the same event by the Glacier Swim Club's age 15-19 girls relay of Christina DiCostanzo, Hannah Robus, Martha Kaiser and Kendra Barnes.

``I thought we did pretty good,'' Kaiser said about her team's time of 2:01.52, which broke the 1988 record of 2:02.12 by Ketchikan. ``We all train together. We just swim well together.''

Glacier Swim Club was well on its way toward winning its third straight team title in the meet, with 812 points to 408 for Ketchikan, 390 for Sitka and 300 for Petersburg's Viking Swim Club. The Craig Waverunners have 197 points for fifth place, the Haines Dolphins Swim Team have 62 points for sixth, and the Stikine Searunners of Wrangell have 23 points. GSC has an outside chance today of breaking the Southeast Regional meet record for team points (1,223.5) it set back in 1991.

Fishel was one of two Glacier Swim Club swimmers leading the individual point standings for his age group, with Fishel holding a 40-26 advantage over Sitka's Campen. Kelsey Potdevin of GSC leads the age 11-12 girls standings with a 33-24-23 advantage over Genny Szymanski of Haines and Ashleigh Lowery of Wrangell. Szymanski and Lowery both became the first swimmers from their respective swim clubs to post a Region XII meet qualifying time, for the meet in Seattle next month.

Potdevin won the 50 fly and the 500 free Friday, plus she was one GSC's winning 200 medley relay team. On Saturday, Potdevin won the 100 free and the 200 individual medley.

``The 50 fly is my best event, and the 200 relay was really good,'' Potdevin said. ``The 500 free isn't a very good event for me. I've only done it four times. I didn't even remember signing up for it.''

The other age group points leaders were Ketchikan's Laura Miller (age 8-younger girls), Grant Wadley (age 8-younger boys), Karin Voetberg (age 9-10 girls) and Ben Voetberg (age 13-14 boys); Craig's Andy Otos (age 11-12 boys); Petersburg's Rikka Brunner (age 13-14 girls); and Sitka's Alexis Will (age 15-19 girls) and Travis Watson (age 15-19 boys).

Forrest Preston of Glacier Swim Club is tied for second (with Petersburg's Jon McKay) in the individual points behind Watson, but he seemed more impressed with how GSC was doing in the team battle.

``We're looking pretty good. I'm hoping we can keep it up,'' Preston said. ``Hopefully we can keep up our momentum.''

Preston won the boys age 15-19 division 500 free and 200 fly events Friday, plus he helped Jamie Belardi, Chad Walter and Matt Mickelson win the 200 medley relay Friday and the same relay team win the 400 free relay Saturday.

Other individual event winners from Juneau (not including Fishel, Potdevin and Preston) Friday were: Lisse Focht in the girls age 13-14 200 individual medley, Hilary Hennon in the girls age 8-younger 50 fly, Seth Thomas in the boys age 11-12 50 fly, Weather Potdevin in the girls age 13-14 200 fly and the 500 free, Kirk Fishel in the boys age 13-14 200 fly, Hannah Robus in the girls age 15-19 200 fly, Jake Kreuzenstein in the boys age 13-14 500 free, Helen Reimer in the girls age 10-younger 200 free and Kyle O'Brien in the boys age 10younger 200 free.

Individual event winners from Juneau on Saturday were: Weather Potdevin in the girls age 13-14 200 backstroke, Kreuzenstein in the boys age 13-14 100 free and 400 IM, Martha Kaiser in the girls age 15-19 100 free, Reimer in the girls age 10-younger 100 breaststroke, Aaron Hughes in the boys age 11-12 100 breast, and Robus in the girls age 15-19 200 breast.

Juneau 200 medley relay teams on Friday won the girls age 10younger division, boys age 11-12, girls age 13-14, boys age 13-14, girls age 15-19 and boys age 15-19 division. On Saturday, Juneau 400 free relay teams won in the boys age 11-12 division, girls age 13-14, boys age 13-14, girls age 15-19 and boys age 15-19 divisions.

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