The rest cycle is over for Juneau's prep swimmers. Now it's time to prove themselves against the best Region V has to offer this weekend in Petersburg.
The Juneau-Douglas swim team has enjoyed plenty of success over the years in the region meet, including a first-place finish for the boys and second place for the girls last season. Crimson Bears coach Kathrin Millhorn said expectations are always high for Juneau-Douglas swimmers.
"The expectation is that the kids are all going to swim their lifetime bests. The boys expect to win regions - that's our team goal - and they also expect to win state," she said. "I don't think they'll have any problem doing that as long as we stay healthy over the next week and a half."
As for the girls' team, Millhorn said Ketchikan will provide stiff competition, but she thinks the Bears will come out on top.
"The girls are shooting to win regions and they want to place in the top three at state. I think they have an opportunity to do that as well," she said. "I'm really happy with the way they look in the water. They just look so smooth, and everything is looking effortless and very fast."
Millhorn also said she feels some of the younger swimmers on the girls' team might perform better than expected.
"We have some freshmen who I think will be a surprise around the state. Haley Mertz and Savannah Cayce have the potential to make a showing at state, and there may not be many people expecting that," she said. "So I think we're going to take a lot of kids that aren't even in the Top 16 lists."
Juneau-Douglas is coming off a rest cycle, which has been ongoing for the past several weeks. Millhorn said beforehand she could see some tired bodies in the water, but her kids no longer look that way.
"I'm actually impressed. The kids look very good in the water and their energy level has skyrocketed," she said. "It's a result of the rest. They're not as broken down and tired, and they're starting to feel better instead of their bodies being heavy and sore."
They'll certainly need that energy to be successful at the Region V meet this weekend, where many of the races should be close. Joining the Bears and Kings in Petersburg are the homestanding Vikings, Thunder Mountain, Haines, Craig, Metlakatla and Sitka.
The 50-yard freestyle is the tightest event on paper. Juneau-Douglas' Tyler Mickelson, Cody Schick and Josh Anderson, as well as Petersburg's Jordan Reid and Preston Marsh, own five of the fastest 16 times in the event this season, and all are within one second of one another.
Other events to keep tabs on include the boys' 100 free, 200 free, 200 individual medley, 100 backstoke, 100 breaststroke and each relay competition, as well as the girls' 100 back, 50 free, 200 IM and each of the relay races.
The Bears also expect to perform well in the diving event, and JDHS dive coach Hans Marx said he believes three of his divers can qualify for state.
"I'm hoping to take two boys (Peter Bellagh and Keith Andrews) to state, as well as one girl (Samantha Sharp)," he said. "We've been learning a lot of new dives in the last couple of weeks and, hopefully, they'll be polished by Friday. They're doing well and they're anxious to go to regionals."
Bellagh has been one of the top Region V divers all season, but Marx said he'll face all he can handle in Petersburg.
"His competition is (Petersburg's) Asa Aulbach. He's always been really close with Peter so that should be fun to watch," he said. "I'm curious to see what new dives Asa has, and to see if Peter's got enough to surpass him this weekend.
"If (Bellagh) dives as well as he can, then he has a really good chance."
The Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain swim teams arrive in Petersburg today with the Region V meet running Friday and Saturday.
Thunder Mountain coach Jason Wilson could not be reached for comment.
Region V swimmers in the final Top 16 rankings:
Girls' 200-yard medley relay -¿4. Ketchikan 1:53.93; 6. Juneau-Douglas 1:55.79; 12. Sitka 2:03.66.
Boys' 200-yard medley relay -¿3. Juneau-Douglas 1:45.24; 6. Sitka 1:47.79; 14. Petersburg 1:54.19; 15. Craig 1:54.58.
Girls' 200-yard freestyle - 4. Emilee Johnson, Ketchikan, 1:59.38; 11. Julianna Lukshin, JDHS, 2:02.30.
Boys' 200-yard freestyle - 6. Jordan Reid, Petersburg, 1:52.30; 13. Nathan Messing, JDHS, 1:54.41; 15. Josh Anderson, JDHS, 1:54.69; 16. Louis Bella, Sitka, 1:55.44.
Girls' 200-yard individual medley -¿9. Emilee Johnson, Ketchikan, 2:16.38; 11. Auri Clark, JDHS, 2:17.32.
Boys' 200-yard individual medley - 4. Tyler Mickelson, JDHS, 2:04.67; 7. Nathan Messing, JDHS, 2:06.03; 8. Preston Marsh, Petersburg, 2:07.27; 10. Case Kuikoven, Ketchikan, 2:08.70; 11. Louis Belley, Sitka, 2:08.76.
Girls' 50-yard freestyle -¿3. Emilee Johnson, Ketchikan, 25.01; 8. Megan Reid, Sitka, 25.77; 16. Maddy Stephens, Ketchikan, 26.18.
Boys' 50-yard freestyle - 5. Jordan Reid, Petersburg, 22.48; 7. Tyler Mickelson, JDHS, 22.90; 9. Preston Marsh, Petersburg, 23.08; 10. Cody Schick, JDHS, 23.10; 11. Josh Anderson, JDHS, 23.25.
Girls' diving - 4. Samantha Sharp, JDHS, 194.55; 9. Kassandra Navales, Ketchikan, 171.90; 11. Emily Sharp, JDHS, 168.40; 13. Skye Weller, Petersburg, 163.20; 15. Grace Weller, Petersburg, 144.95.
Boys' diving - 4. Asa Aulbach, Petersburg, 214.55; 9. Peter Bellagh, JDHS, 196.20; 11. Dillon Scranton, JDHS, 181.10; 16. Logan Collins, Ketchikan, 166.00.
Girls' 100-yard butterfly - 14. Auri Clark, JDHS, 1:02.61.
Boys' 100-yard butterfly -¿2. Tyler Mickelson, JDHS, 54.02; 6. Preston Marsh, Petersburg, 55.68.
Girls' 100-yard freestyle - 5. Emilee Johnson, Ketchikan, 55.21.
Boys' 100-yard freestyle relay - 4. Preston Marsh, Petersburg, 49.78; 7. Jordan Reid, Petersburg, 50.28; 12. Josh Anderson, JDHS, 50.85; 13. Cody Schick, JDHS, 50.94; 15. Nathan Messing, JDHS, 51.24.
Boys' 500-yard freestyle -¿6. Case Kuikoven, Ketchikan, 5:07.36; 11. Jordan Reid, Petersburg, 5:11.07; 14. Nathan Messing, JDHS, 5:14.26.
Girls' 200-yard freestyle relay - 3. Ketchikan 1:43.13; 11. Juneau-Douglas 1:49.51.
Boys' 200-yard freestyle relay -¿2. Juneau-Douglas 1:33.07; 5. Petersburg 1:34.40; 11. Sitka 1:36.10; 16. Craig 1:39.92.
Girls' 100-yard backstroke -¿9. Maddy Stephens, Ketchikan, 1:03.29; 10. Auri Clark, JDHS, 1:03.49; 15. Isabel Stephens, Ketchikan, 1:05.02.
Boys' 100-yard backstroke - 4. Nathan Messing, JDHS, 57.13; 11. Louis Belley, Sitka, 59.48; 13. Cody Schick, JDHS, 59.62; 16. Derek Weaver, Craig, 1:00.43.
100-yard breaststroke -¿5. Kendra Standley, Ketchikan, 1:09.24.
Boys' 100-yard breastroke - 8. Preston Marsh, Petersburg, 1:05.22; 9. Ian McCallum, Petersburg, 1:06.18; 10. Tyle Mickelson, JDHS, 1:06.30; 16. Jonah Swanson, JDHS, 1;07.44.
Girls' 400-freestyle relay -¿Ketchikan 3:51.49; 7. Juneau-Douglas 3:56.65; 15. Sitka 4:11.98.
Boys' 400-freestyle relay - 2. Juneau-Douglas 3:25.79; 4. Petersburg 3:27.84; 6. Sitka 3:31.23; 13. Ketchikan 3:42.38.