Competing with a partial squad, the Juneau-Douglas High School swimming and diving teams didn't finish at the top of the standings for the first time this season.
The Crimson Bear boys and girls both finished third each day at the Sitka Invitational swim meets Friday and Saturday at Sitka's Blatchley Pool. Juneau only took 18 athletes to the meet, so it didn't have its normal depth.
Juneau coach John Wray said he took the partial squad this week since he took several other swimmers to Fairbanks last week, and he wanted those swimmers to have time to catch up on their studies. Also, taking the smaller groups each weekend meant he could spend more time with the swimmers to chart their individual progress.
"This group is having a lot of fun, there's a lot of camaraderie," Wray said. "I'm real pleased with how these guys are getting along."
In Friday's meet, the Ketchikan girls claimed top honors with 106 points. Sitka followed with 83, followed by Juneau with 61, Petersburg with 34 and Craig with three points.
The Sitka boys won their half of the meet on Friday, posting 143 points. Ketchikan took second place with 95 points, followed by Juneau with 34, Craig with 21 and Petersburg with 10 points.
On Saturday, the Ketchikan girls won again with 106 points, followed by Sitka with 76, Juneau with 57, Petersburg with 53 and Craig with two points.
The Sitka boys won on Saturday with 156 points, followed by Ketchikan with 86, Juneau with 21, Craig with 18 and Petersburg with nine.
One of the highlights for the Crimson Bears was the performance of freshman Julia DiCostanzo, who won the 100-yard freestyle and 50 free races each day. Wray said DiCostanzo's time of 58.52 seconds in Saturday's 100 free was a personal record.
"She's really coming on," Wray said. "She's going to be a strong contender for regions."
Senior Nathan Schroeder won the boys diving event each day, posting a score of 153.25 points in Saturday's meet. In the girls diving event, sophomore Tanya Trucano beat freshman teammate Kaitlin Niewoehner on Friday, then Niewoehner beat Trucano in Saturday's meet.
Other highlights for Juneau included what Wray called a "gutsy performance" by the girls 200 freestyle relay on Saturday, which held on for second place even though the anchor-leg swimmer, sophomore Stephanie Hazel, turned her ankle earlier in the meet. Also, Wray said first-year senior Matt Majoros "did really well. I was really pleased with how he performed."
The Crimson Bears are off this coming weekend, then they'll send close to a complete squad to the Petersburg Invitational on Oct. 17-18. The Region V championships are Oct. 31-Nov. 1 in Ketchikan, with the state meet Nov. 7-8 in Anchorage.
Complete results from the Sitka meet will run later this week in the Empire.