The Juneau-Douglas High School swim and volleyball teams will hit the road this weekend, but in different directions.
The swim team will be heading north to Fairbanks as the Crimson Bears head outside Region V for the first time this season. Juneau will swim at North Pole on Friday and against West Valley in a dual meet at Lathrop on Saturday.
The volleyball team, which just returned from a trip north, will travel south this weekend as the Crimson Bears go to Ketchikan for a pair of Region V-Class 4A matches Friday and Saturday at the Clarke Cochrane Gym. The varsity, junior varsity and C teams all will travel to Ketchikan for matches.
This road trip will be the Juneau swim team's first chance to see how it stacks up against competition outside the region. The Crimson Bear divers, especially, will be looking to see how they do. There are a dozen divers in Region V, and 11 of them are from Juneau. Petersburg has one female diver to keep the region meet from being an intrasquad meet for the Crimson Bears.
"It'll be nice to see some northern divers," said senior Patrick Hoke, who was the only male diver three weekends ago at the Ketchikan Invitational and swept the titles both days at last weekend's Juneau Invitational.
Junior Marnita Coenraad, who ranks second in the state among female divers, probably summed it up best after winning the girls diving event Friday at the Juneau Invite: "I feel really good, but it also was kind of like a practice."
Juneau coach John Wray said Lathrop's divers might join in Saturday's meet with West Valley, but Lathrop's swimmers are scheduled to be in Valdez that day.
The Crimson Bear boys moved into the top spot in the state rankings in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 45.54, the first Juneau individual or relay team to be ranked No. 1 this season.
The quartet posting the top time featured junior Tyler Hennon, senior Olin Robus, junior Q Smyth and freshman Kyle O'Brien, and they also moved into second place in the state rankings in the 400 freestyle relay. A Juneau squad ranks seventh in the 200 free relay.
"I'm really excited about our relays," said Robus, who won all four of his individual events last weekend. "We don't have the big guns we had last year, but we can go faster. There's a lot of opportunity there."
Juneau had several swimmers and divers move up in the state rankings after last week's meets.
One of Juneau's best events is the boys 200 individual medley, where Robus ranks second, Hennon ranks seventh and O'Brien ranks eighth in the state.
Another strong event is the 500 free, where Hennon ranks second and O'Brien is fourth. In the 200 free, Hennon is third and O'Brien is sixth. Robus is second in the 100 breaststroke, while Hennon is sixth in the 100 backstroke and O'Brien is ninth in the 100 back. Smyth is ranked seventh in the 100 free (Hennon and O'Brien also are ranked in the 100) and 10th in the 50 free.
There are three male Juneau divers ranked, led by Hoke in fifth place, Gabe Kelley in 11th and Nathan Schroeder in 13th place.
The girls diving rankings feature five Crimson Bears, led by Coenraad in second place. Also ranked are sophomore Lexy Wagoner in third place, freshman Kaitlin Niewoehner in sixth, sophomore Tanya Trucano in 10th and sophomore Holly Trucano in 14th place.
Senior Lisse Focht has the top individual rankings for a female Juneau swimmer - fifth in the 500 free and seventh in the 200 free. Junior Kelsey Potdevin is ranked ninth in the 100 free, 12th in the 500 free and 11th in the 100 back; while senior Heather Harris is ranked 12th in the 200 free, 12th in the 100 free and 16th in the 500 free; and freshman Amanda Jones is ranked 11th in the 200 IM.
The Juneau girls are ranked 11th in the 200 medley relay, fifth in the 200 free relay and eighth in the 400 free relay.
For the volleyball team, this weekend will feature a return to the Region V-Class 4A comfort zone after their trip to Anchorage and Homer last week.
The Crimson Bears suffered their first losses in more than a year, but they said they learned a lot from the trip north. Juneau fell to 4-3 overall and 4-0 region in best three-of-five matches, and their overall record is 10-5 when it includes best two-of-three matches.
On the road trip north, Juneau lost to West Anchorage and Dimond in Anchorage, then took second behind Bartlett at the Peninsula Challenge 2003 in Homer. Juneau senior outside hitter Julie Heard, junior outside hitter Karla Dunivin and sophomore setter Rochele Rodman made the all-tournament team in Homer.
"It was tough competition and we hope to use it against Ketchikan," sophomore setter Torie Powers said.
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