Crimson Bears swimmers sweep to region crowns

Posted: Sunday, November 04, 2001

The Juneau-Douglas High School swim and dive teams swept the Region V swimming meet at Blatchley Middle School Pool in Sitka on Friday and Saturday.

The Crimson Bear girls won their 10th straight region crown with an impressive score of 134. Sitka placed second with 54 points, Ketchikan was third with 51, Petersburg was fourth with 47 and Craig placed fifth with 14 points.

The Crimson Bear boys won their second straight title by defeating second-place Ketchikan 103-79. Sitka was third with 53, Petersburg was fourth with 51 and Haines rounded out team scoring with one point.

"We can't argue with the results," Juneau head swim coach John Wray said. "We rolled the dice with the number of kids we had tapered for state. For the kids who won events, its great. But we scored a lot of seconds and thirds and they will have to wait until 2:30 p.m. on Monday to find out if they qualify for state."

Sixteen athletes in each event qualify for state, with the winner in each of the state's four swimming regions receiving an automatic bid. The rest of the slots are filled with the next 12 fastest times of all the combined region meets. In relays, the four region champions qualify for state as do the next four fastest teams at-large.

The Juneau girls won all three relays, automatically qualifying for state in each. Sophomore Lisse Focht won the 200- and 500-yard freestyles and junior Martha Kaiser won the 100 free to earn automatic bids for next weekend's state meet at Bartlett High School.

For the boys, freshman Paul Hughes won the 200 medley and the 100 breast while senior Forrest Preston won the 500 free.

Freshman Marnita Coenaard won the girls' diving competition and Junior Ryan Stidolph won the boy's diving event.

Freshman Tyler Hennon is one of the Crimson Bear athletes who will have to wait until Monday to find out his fate on state qualifying. He placed third in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 free, as well as swimming a leg in the 200 freestyle relay.

"It causes a lot of anxiety," Hennon said. "It'll be great if I do it, but I'm still happy because I did my best."

Sophomore Robyn Grayson had a personal best time in the 100 breaststroke, taking third in the event, and she placed fourth in the 200 medley. She also swam a leg in the winning 200-yard medley relay.

"It was my best time by a lot," Grayson said regarding her 100 breast time. "I think it's good enough to make it. It was three seconds faster than my best."

Sophomore Heather Harris, who joined the team midway through the season after recovering from a shoulder injury, swam on two of the winning relay teams and took third in both the 200 and 500 frees.

"It's exciting to go to state," Harris said. "I think it's absolutely awesome. John (Wray) has been talking about how the trophy doesn't matter, it's the experiences and camaraderie that really matters."

Full results were not available as of press time Saturday. Results will run in Monday's edition.

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