Kyle O'Brien of Juneau's Glacier Swim Club broke two Alaska records last weekend while competing at the Western Zone meet at the University of Southern California's McDonalds Pool in Los Angeles.
The zone meet featured the top age group swimmers from 11 western states competing on 17 state or regional teams. Besides Alaska, the other states with teams were Washington, Oregon, California (with six regional teams), Hawaii, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.
O'Brien, who competed in the age 11-12 boys division, reached the championship finals in five individual events.
He took seventh place in the 50-meter freestyle with a finals time of 28.12, but his preliminary time of 28.01 broke a 20-year-old state record previously held by Raul Mendez of Anchorage's University Swim Club (now Northern Lights Swim Club). In the 200 freestyle, O'Brien took fifth place with a finals time of 2:11.74 that broke the 1996 state record held by Hunter McCallister of Fairbanks' Midnight Sun Swim Team.
O'Brien's best finish came in the 100 free, where he took third place in 1:00.24. He also took seventh place in the 400 free in 4:41.31 and was seventh in the 200 individual medley in 2:32.99 (he had a 2:31.98 in prelims). O'Brien took 13th place in the 50 butterfly and was on a 200 medley relay team that finished 12th in an open age bracket.
Kristin Jones of Juneau, who competed in the age 11-12 girls division, had a best individual finish of 11th place in the 100 butterfly. She also took 17th in the 200 IM, 21st in the 100 free, 22nd in the 50 fly, 24th in the 50 free and 24th in the 200 free.
Jones was also a member of four relay teams of swimmers younger than age 14 that beat several older relay squads. Her 400 free relay team took sixth place, her 200 free relay team was eighth, her 200 medley relay team was eighth and her 400 medley team was ninth.
The other Juneau swimmer was Tyler Hennon, who competed in the age 15-16 boys division. Hennon took 21st place in the 1,500 free, 26th in the 200 backstroke, 27th in the 200 fly, 29th in the 100 back and 37th in the 200 free. Hennon did not swim on any relay teams.
Shona Pierce of the Craig Waverunners Swim Club was the only other Southeast swimmer, competing in the age 17-18 girls division. Pierce took 18th in the 50 free, 18th in the 200 back, 21st in the 100 back, 25th in the 100 breaststroke, 26th in the 100 free and 27th in the 200 breast. Pierce was not on any relay teams.