Paul Hughes of Juneau's Glacier Swim Club paid a small price to set an Alaska Swimming record in the 200-yard breaststroke last weekend.
Hughes, a sophomore at Juneau-Douglas High School, was one of two Glacier Swim Club swimmers to compete in the USA Swimming Northwest Sectional Senior Championships that took place March 11-16 in Federal Way, Wash. JDHS senior Jake Kreuzenstein was the other GSC swimmer at the meet, which featured about 800 of the West Coast's top swimmers.
The two Glacier Swim Club members tied for 28th place out of the 52 teams that scored in the boys team standings with 27 points, the only Alaska boys team to score points. The only other Alaska team to score points was the Alaska Pacific Swim Team, which scored seven points for 48th place among the girls teams.
"Both of the boys swam excellent," interim GSC coach Marc Bucat said. "They represented Juneau and the state of Alaska as the champions they are."
While he was swimming in the 200 breast, Hughes pulled a muscle in his back that caused him to miss his 200 freestyle event. Despite the injury, Hughes still managed to finish the 200 breast final with a state record time of 2 minutes, 6.36 seconds to take sixth place overall. Hughes had a time of 2:07.49 in the preliminaries, an improvement from his seed time (personal record time) of 2:08.31.
"It was a fabulous swim, but he pulled a muscle in his back and we scratched him from the 200 free," Bucat said. "The next day, we did a very slow warm-up and a massage and he raced in event No. 26, the 100 breaststroke."
Hughes, who won the state high school 100 breast title, had seed time of 58.10 in the event. He finished seventh in the prelims with a 58.44 and, even though his time slipped to 58.56 in the finals, Hughes moved up to fifth place overall.
"He raced like a champion and moved up two places," Bucat said. "It was a true testament of his character. It was an awesome race."
Hughes' final event was the 200 individual medley. He entered with a seed time of 1:56.59, but only placed 48th with a time of 2:00.65.
Kreuzenstein competed in the 200 free, posting a time of 1:55.95 for 138th place (his seed time was 1:52.02). He also swam the 1,650 free, taking 71st place with a time of 17:56.03 (his seed time was 17:19.22).
"Jake had been injured most of the winter with a shoulder problem, but he trained hard the last month," Bucat said. "Those aren't his best times, but for his level of conditioning and training I was very pleased with his performance."