Juneau's Glacier Swim Club came to Phoenix looking to break some records and place in the top 16 at the Western Region Section Championships on March 8-12.
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While the swimmers performed well, they also seemed to bring the local weather with them to the outdoor pool at the Brophy Sports Campus in Arizona. The GSC faced unusually cool conditions and raced one day in 40-degree weather in a torrential downpour.
"It was pretty freaky because they had a stretch of 25 straight days in the 80s and it hadn't rained since October," GSC coach Scott Griffith said. "It was almost like it followed us from Juneau, but the whole competition had to deal with the same elements."
Despite the rainy conditions, the team went on to break seven school records and place in the top 16 in four different events.
Leading the way for Glacier Swim Club was Sara Bogert.
She set a new team mark in the 15-16 girls 50-yard freestyle and broke her own her own team record in the 200 backstroke. The new freestyle record broke a 10-year old mark set by Jesie Lewis, who went on to swim at Division I Fresno State University.
"Jesie Lewis is kind of a legend," Griffith said. "To break one of her records took a lot. She's been focused all year. I don't think she's missed one or two practices since December. She's dead-set on being a sprinter."
Melissa Bogert also set two new GSC marks. She broke Cari Thompson's 21-year-old record in the 1,650 freestyle and snapped Lani Wilson's 1990 record in the 200 butterfly.
The girls relay squads also set three new club marks.
The team of Sara and Melissa Bogert, Amanda Jones and Kristin Jones set a new mark and took 13th place in the 200 freestyle relay. The quartet then broke club records in the 400 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. The 400 freestyle team placed 16th at Phoenix.
Individually, Sara Bogert took 10th in the 50 freestyle while Melissa Bogert placed 16th in the 100 butterfly.
The girls finished 27th out of 132 teams at the event, which drew the best teenage swimmers from throughout the west cost.
"Hopefully the girls will dominate in high school then come back to this meet next year and be one of the top 10 female teams," Griffith said.
On the boys side, Kyle O'Brien finished just out of the points for GSC.
O'Brien took 20th in the 200 freestyle, 21st in the 100 backstroke and 22nd in the 200 individual medley.
Jon Wendel, Matt Josephson and Q Smyth also competed at the event.
The older swimmers for GSC will wrap up the winter season April 20-23 in Anchorage at the Alaska Junior Olympic State Championships.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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