The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams overcame a slow start to post impressive showings at Petersburg's new pool over the weekend.
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The boys and girls both had relay teams disqualified in the first two races on Friday. They quickly shook off the bad start however as the girls team won Friday's and Saturday's meets while the boys placed second each day to defending state champion Sitka.
"We started off Friday a little inauspiciously," JDHS coach John Wray said. "But we worked on trying to make the relay exchanges very aggressively and the very start of the season. I'd rather learn from our mistakes now and not try to think we can turn the aggression on with a switch at regionals."
The girls team breezed to victory on each day. On Friday, JDHS posted 171 points, Ketchikan had 72, Petersburg 44 and Sitka 420. The Crimson Bears won Saturday with 161 points to the Kings' 84, the Wolves' 42 and the Kings 40.
In Friday's boys meet, Sitka had 132 points, JDHS had 78, Ketchikan 46, Petersburg 35 and Craig 9. On Saturday, Sitka posted 126 points, JDHS had 81, Kayhi 55, Petersburg 38 and Craig 6.
Juneau's Kristin Jones won the 200-yard freestyle in 2 minutes, 1.07 seconds on Friday while taking second in the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle on Saturday. Sara Bogert nipped her teammate for the 100 freestyle win while Ketchikan's Laura Miller won the 100 freestyle.
Amber Kelly won Friday's 100 butterfly in 58.37, leading a 1-2-3 Juneau finish.
"We took a number of events either 1-2 or 1-2-3," Wray said. "In one event, the 200 freestyle, we took the top six spots, but we didn't win every event."
While the girls team won the team event comfortably, Wray said he wanted to see how his team handled the distraction of swimming in a brand new pool and facing strong competition.
Given the performance, the girls look to have passed the test.
"I thought we had some kids like Koko Urata, Katie Bush and Lindsay Clark who had some breakthrough swims," Wray said. "Their times had some good drops to them. In the 500 freestyle, Koko couldn't extend the pace but learned to stick her nose out there and give it a shot."
Alison Sharp won her event on each day as Wray noted that the diving team tried dives with the highest degree of difficulty at the meet.
The boys competed with their full roster for the first time this season after bring just four swimmers to Sitka two weeks ago.
Kyle O'Brien, the defending state champion in the 100 and 200 freestyle, saw his first action of the school year. O'Brien won the 100 butterfly on Friday, along with the 100 freestyle on Saturday.
"He was happy with his times," Wray said of O'Brien. "There'll be a handful of No. 1 times in the state. I think he was happy with them."
Freshman Cody Brunette and Seth Cayce also made their Crimson Bears' debut this weekend.
Brunette won the 200 IM on Saturday while Cayce captured Saturday's 100 butterfly. Fellow freshmen Nick Rutecki and Alex Barto saw action in Petersburg.
O'Brien joined forces with Rutecki, Cayce and Brunette to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:34.35.
"I think they did great," Wray said of his freshmen. "They have to learn to be a little more patient and every meet won't be a PR (personal record time.) But they did really well. I'm really happy for them."
Juneau-Douglas will next be in action on Sept. 22-23 at home for two meets against South Anchorage and Southeast Conference competition.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at email@example.com.
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