Sonner leads local swimmers at Alaska Masters state championships

Former Florida State swimmer wins all six of her individual events at meet

Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2004

Former Florida State University swimmer Ritchie Sonner won all six of her individual events to win her age group last weekend at the Alaska Masters Swimming State Short-Course Yards Championships in Anchorage.

Sonner, who competes in the women's age 45-49 division, was the only Juneau Masters Swimming athlete to win an age group individual title. She won the 50-yard backstroke, the 100 freestyle, the 200 back, 50 free, 100 individual medley and 100 back events for her division to score a perfect 54 individual points.

In unofficial team standings, Anchorage's Swimming With Alaska Masters (SWAM) took first place with 1,197 points. SWAM had 29 swimmers score points in the meet, more than twice the swimmers of the second-place team.

Juneau (JMS) was fourth with 461 and 12 swimmers, and Ketchikan Masters Swim Club (KMSC) was next with 353 points and nine swimmers.

The Juneau father-daughter combination of Paul and Elizabeth Johnsen posted six victories for the weekend, three apiece, and each took second place in their age groups. Elizabeth Johnsen, who competed in the age 25-29 division, won the 50-yard breaststroke, the 100 breast and 200 free. Paul Johnsen, who was in the age 50-54 division, won the 50 breast, 100 breast and 100 IM.

Bob Wysocki of Juneau, who took third place in the men's age 35-39 division, won the 50 back and 200 back. Stephanie Walden, who took third place in the women's age 35-39 division, won the 200 breast and 100 breast.

The other two Juneau swimmers to win events were Marianne Stillner, who won the 50 breast in the women's age 60-64 division, and Jackie Forster, who won the 100 back in the women's age 25-29 division.

Also competing for Juneau were Cathy Tide, Tami Wahto, Melanie White, Sandra Woods and Sally McLaughlin. Tide and Watts were both in the women's age 30-34 division, while the other three were all in the women's age 45-49 division. Former Juneau resident Christine Tait took second place in the women's age 35-39 division while competing for SWAM.

Leading Ketchikan in the meet was Fred Jorgensen, who won all six of his events to post a perfect score of 54 points and tie for the top spot in the men's age 60-64 division. Jorgensen won the 200 IM, 200 back, 100 butterfly, 200 fly, 100 IM and 400 IM events for his age group.

Bill Elberson, who competed in the men's age 55-59 division, won four events for Ketchikan. Scott Cornelius won three events in the men's age 40-44 division, Dawn Allen-Herron won two events in the women's age 40-44 division and Norm Herron won once in the men's age 40-44 division for Ketchikan.

The Juneau Masters Swimming group meets from 5:30-6:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool (586-5325). Jan Rumble is the contact person for the club and can be reached by e-mail at

The Ketchikan Masters Swimming group meets from 7-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursday, 7-8 a.m. on Saturdays and 6-7 p.m. on Sundays at Mike Smithers Pool (225-2010). Allen-Herron is the contact person for the club and can be reached by e-mail at

Event-by-event results can be found on the Alaska Masters Swimming Web site,

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