The region record book needs major revisions after 12 meet records were broken during this weekend's Southeast Region Swimming and Diving Championships.
The host Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears did most of the rewriting Friday and Saturday, as they erased 10 marks en route to sweeping the boys and girls team titles at Juneau's Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool. It was the 12th straight title for the Juneau girls, and fourth in a row for the boys.
The Juneau girls easily won their crown, scoring 161 points to runner-up Ketchikan's 53, third-place Sitka's 43 and fourth-place Petersburg's 35 points. The Crimson Bear boys, who worried about Sitka's depth, won their meet 102-90 over the Wolves, with Ketchikan third with 72 points, Craig fourth with 25 and Petersburg fifth with 13 points.
"I'm real happy for them, and I'm hopeful we'll be able to take 22 or so (swimmers and divers) to state," Juneau coach John Wray said of his team's performance.
Leading the way for the Juneau girls was freshman Kristin Jones, who penciled in four individual records and was part of two relay teams that also won in record times.
Jones broke two records in Friday's preliminary heats - in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 59.99 seconds to break the 2000 mark of 2:01.87 by Sitka's Alexis Will, and in the 500 free with a time of 5:25.62 that didn't give freshman teammate Sara Bogert much time to savor the record of 5:29.42 she set in the previous preliminary heat (Bogert broke the 2000 record of 5:29.89 by Juneau's Heather Harris).
"We knew one of us would get it before the race," Jones said after she and Bogert both broke the 500 free record on Friday. "We'll see what happens. We'll pick it up tomorrow. We've got four years of competition ahead of us."
"I didn't really think I had it for a couple of seconds," Bogert said.
In Saturday's finals, Jones kept up her assault on the record book as she anchored Juneau's 200 medley relay team of senior Kelsey Potdevin, freshman Lia Heifetz, freshman Melissa Bogert and Jones to a time of 1:55.24. That broke the 2000 record of 1:56.15 set by Petersburg's Amber Beardslee, Erin Schwartz, Teri Jo Hasbrouck and Brittany Carlson. One event later, Jones broke her own 200 free record with a time of 1:59.94.
"That's a very nice way to open the meet," said Potdevin, the girls team captain. "Kristin's record, that was awesome. I think today's going to be pretty good."
Jones rewrote her 500 free record in the finals with a time of 5:20.49, as Sara Bogert and freshman Amber Kelly tied for second place. Then she closed out her meet with by anchoring Juneau's 400 free relay team of Sara Bogert, sophomore Julia DiCostanzo, sophomore Kacey Klein and Jones to a record time of 3:46.41. That relay performance broke the 1994 meet record of 3:52.19 set by Sitka's Annie Madsen, Chelsea Colliver, Stacy Snowden and Tanya Ford, and it eclipsed the all-time region best time of 3:46.74 set earlier this season by Juneau's Potdevin, Sara Bogert, DiCostanzo and Jones.
"We're swimming really strong and I think we'll be taking a lot of people to state," Jones said.
Juneau also broke the region record in the 200 free relay, as Potdevin, sophomore Amanda Jones (no relation to Kristin), freshman Jenna Rutecki and DiCostanzo posted a time of 1:43.36. That broke the 2003 region meet record of 1:44.76 and the 2003 all-time region best time of 1:43.95 set by the Juneau quartet of DiCostanzo, Harris, Klein and Potdevin.
The other girls record to fall was in the 100 backstroke, as Petersburg's Abbey Jackson swam a 1:01.16 to break the 1997 record of 1:01.40 set by Sitka's Annie Madsen.
In addition to the records, the Juneau girls picked up victories from Amanda Jones in the 200 individual medley, Potdevin in the 50 free, senior Marnita Coenraad in the diving (her fourth straight region title) and Melissa Bogert in the 100 butterfly. Ketchikan's Elizabeth Jagusch won the 100 free and the 100 breaststroke to win the only other girls events.
"I'm very happy, I'm so psyched," Amanda Jones said. "I was worried about my breaststroke, but it came through."
The individual and relay event winners each earned automatic berths to the state meet, and the rest of the field will be chosen at-large from the state's other top region meet times. In the diving event, since scores can vary depending on the judges, the top three divers in each region earned automatic state berths so Coenraad will be joined by junior teammates Tanya and Holly Trucano.
"I feel I did really well, better than I've done before," Coenraad said. "I keep trying to get new dives for up north."
In the boys meet, senior Q Smyth was Juneau's main record breaker.
In Friday's preliminaries, Smyth swam a 22.03 to break the 1999 region meet record of 22.38 set by Petersburg's Derek Carlson. On Saturday, he bettered his record with a time of 21.98. His winning time of 48.64 in the 100 free also broke a school record previously held by Ole Shelton.
"I just needed to get in the pool and let my body do the work," said Smyth, whose previous best in the 50 free was 22.84. "I had my teammates to cheer me on. It was pretty fun."
"The fact that Q broke two boys school records, I'm just ecstatic," Wray said. "We haven't even touched our boys records in a couple of years."
The only other boys region meet record was by Ketchikan freshman Ryan Borup in the diving event. Borup, who grew up in Chugiak and trains during the summer in Santa Clara, Calif., posted a score of 427.65 points to break the 2000 region meet record of 400.00 and 2000 region all-time best of 403.05 by Sitka's Derek Hirai.
The Crimson Bear boys were expecting a tough battle with Sitka in the team standings, but Juneau led from the start and the deeper Wolves didn't threaten.
In addition to Smyth's two event victories, the Crimson Bears picked up a pair of victories from sophomore Kyle O'Brien, plus Juneau got wins from senior Tyler Hennon (200 IM), senior Abe Levy (100 butterfly) and junior Matt Josephson (100 back). Sitka's Matt Way, the defending state champion in the event, won the 100 breast for the other individual title.
Juneau's quartet of O'Brien, Levy, Hennon and Smyth also won the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:43.77, while the same quartet in a different order won the 400 free relay with a time of 3:23.91, bettering their previous state-best times in both events. Sitka's quartet of Ben Adams, Ben Campen, Alex Dailey and Way won the 200 free relay.
"We kind of expected to win, but we didn't expect that we'd win all but three events," O'Brien said. "We had a lot more top finishes. We're really happy about our relays, because we took off some time."
"That felt pretty good, and we're only halfway through our taper," Hennon said. "Our times are only going to get faster."
The victories by Juneau's big three of Smyth, O'Brien and Hennon were expected, but the difference in the meet was the performance of Levy and Josephson.
"That was really important for the team," Levy said of his victory over Dailey. "I knew Alex was fast in the prelims, and he's from Sitka."
"I felt good," said Josephson, who outsprinted Sitka's Gavin McGown for the win. "It's after having such good conditioning. I'll be automatic for state, and hopefully I can do a good time there."
Region meet results can be found on the Scoreboard on Page B2.
Charles Bingham can be reached at email@example.com.
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