Local swimmers throw pool party at Bartlett
Swimmers from Chugiak and Eagle River turned the Bartlett High natatorium into their own private water park on Saturday evening, filling the steamy pool with smiles, whoops and cheers during a festive Cook Inlet Conference Swimming and Diving Championships.
“This team was awesome this year,” said Mustangs sophomore Izzy Powers, who claimed victory in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events to become the meet’s lone double individual champion. “The vibe was just really good.”
Chugiak coach Anne Williams said she had a young group this year, but the team performed like veterans in practice and away from the pool.
“I’m thankful as a coach to have kids that are positive and working together,” Williams said after the meet.
Chugiak’s Cheyenne Burke picked up an automatic state meet berth with her win in the girls’ 100 backstroke and junior Reid Blackstone claimed victory in the 200 individual medley.
After winning his second career conference title (he took the 500 free last year), Blackstone said his goal at state will be simply to keep enjoying the pool.
“I just want to have fun and drop time,” he said.
Chugiak’s girls also won the 200-yard medley relay.
Perhaps the only team having more fun poolside than the Mustangs Saturday appeared to be the Eagle River Wolves, whose boys’ team howled its way to a second-place finish for the second consecutive year.
The Wolves played the role of meet pranksters, with the team’s four male seniors — Nigel Floyd, Brady McGee, Joseph “Chow” Min and Mark Korzon — showing up at the meet’s traditional senior recognition carrying oversized masks featuring their own faces.
“My girlfriend used the engineering lab at Eagle River to make them,” Floyd explained. “It’s just for fun.”
The Wolves had plenty of bite to go along with their toothy grins. Sophomore John Heaphy claimed his first CIC title with a win in the 100-yard breaststroke, and the Wolves’ 200-yard freestyle relay team tore through the water to pick up a dominant victory.
“This just feels awesome,” said Heaphy, who wore one of the day’s biggest smiles as he stood atop the podium following his breaststroke win.
Eagle River’s Katherine Horning turned in the top individual performance for the Wolves’ girls, placing third in the 50-yard freestyle.
Individual event winners Saturday earned automatic berths at the state meet next weekend in Juneau, but others will swim at state as well.
In addition to the conference champions, the top 16 swimmers in each event qualified to go to the Capital City. Chugiak will send 17 swimmers to state (nine girls, eight boys), while Eagle River will send 16 divided equally among the boys and girls. Chugiak qualified three relays (girls 400 freestyle and 200 medley, boys 200 medley) and the Wolves qualified four: the girls in the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay, the boys in the 200 and 400 freestyle.
After the post-meet awards ceremony, Eagle River’s swimmers gathered in a large group for one last cheer, yelling the word “Hype!” in unison — a season-long ritual used to help pump up the team’s swimmers. As he watched the celebration, Wolves’ coach Patrick Garrity grinned as he held the second-place trophy.
“I’m just ecstatic,” Garrity said. “Pretty much every kid dropped time.”
While he spoke, a member of the Eagle River contingent asked if Garrity wanted her to bring the trophy back to the school Saturday night. Garrity shook his head, saying the team wasn’t quite done with the party and planned to bring the trophy along on a post-meet burger run.
“I think they want to take it to Red Robin with them,” he said.
The state meet will be held Nov. 4-5 at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center in Juneau. For more information on the meet, visit asaa.org.
Chugiak: Reid Blackstone, Cheyenne Burke, Leslie Cockreham, James Dobson, Riley Fugere, Sergio Garrido-Areal, Remington Holtman, Dalton Lodzins, Kirstina Manwaring, Kate Marshall, Addison Morgan, Izzy Powers, Victoria Slaven, Paul Straub, Sam Strickland, Madison Thompson, Isabella Watsjold
Eagle River: Emily Berard, Sarah Earnhart, Kevin Fast, Nigel Floyd, Hannah Foss, John Heaphy, Katherine Horning, Sam Horning, Gracie Keen, Mark Korzon, Ashton McClaskey, Brady McGee, Daniel Min, Joe Min, Nyah Reid, Anna Schlimgen
Cook Inlet Conference Championships
Saturday, Bartlett Natatorium
Girls team scores
1. Dimond 506, 2. South 366, 3. West 271, 4. Chugiak 266.5, 5. Eagle River 194.5, 6. Service 178, 7. Bartlett 117, 8. East 109.Boys team scores
1. Dimond 589, 2. Eagle River 316, 3. South 287, 4. Service 261, 5. Chugiak 209, 6. West 201, 7. East 129, 8. Bartlett 23.
Girls 200 Yard Medley Relay: 1. Chugiak (Burke, Morgan, Cockreham,Powers), 1:51.70; 2. Dimond 1:52.58.
Boys 200 Yard Freestyle: 1. Addington, Maximus (D) 1:45.56; 6. Korzon, Mark (ER) 1:53.38; 7. Dobson, James (C) 1:57.34; 8. McGee, Brady (ER) 1:57.36.
Girls 200 Yard IM: 1. Rohde, Aleah (D) 2:16.44; 4. Morgan, Addison (C) 2:18.32; 7. Cockreham, Leslie (C) 2:22.83
Boys 200 Yard IM: 1. Blackstone, Reid (C) 2:05.24; 8. Lodzins, Dalton (C) 2:13.73.
Girls 50 Yard Freestyle: 1. Powers, Izzy (C) 24.07; 3. Horning, Katherine (ER) 25.35;
Boys 50 Yard Freestyle: 1. Law, Caleb (Ser) 21.41; 2. Horning, Sam (ER) 21.92; 3. Min, Joe (ER) 21.94
Girls 100 Yard Butterfly: 1. Jarupakorn, Wanlaya (B) 59.20; 6. Keen, Gracie (ER) 1:05.24;
Boys 100 Yard Butterfly: 1. Addington, Maximus (D) 52.59; 3. Min, Joe (ER) 55.02; 4. Floyd, Nigel (ER) 55.12
Girls 100 Yard Freestyle: 1. Powers, Izzy (C) 52.68; 3. Burke, Cheyenne (C) 55.48
Boys 100 Yard Freestyle: 1. Law, Caleb (Ser) 46.95; 3. Horning, Sam (ER) 48.70; 5. Heaphy, John (ER) 48.99; 8. Straub, Paul (C) 53.37.
Girls 500 Yard Freestyle: 1. Williams, Camryn (D); 4. Reid, Nyah (ER) 5:38.70; 6. Cockreham, Leslie (C) 5:42.48;
Boys 500 Yard Freestyle: 1. Walch, Andrew (D) 4:56.43; 5. Blackstone, Reid, (C), 5:01.94; 8. Korzon, Mark (ER) 5:08.35.
Girls 200 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Dimond (Moody, Krause, Williams, Willis), 1:42.53; 2. Eagle River 1:43.90
Boys 200 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Eagle River (Horning, Heaphy, Min, Floyd), 1:27.72; 2. Dimond 1:28.53.
Girls 100 Yard Backstroke: 1. Burke, Cheyenne (C) 1:00.21; 5. Horning, Katherine (ER) 1:03.40; 7. Reid, Nyah (ER) 1:04.68
Boys 100 Yard Backstroke: 1. Dittlinger, Reed (D) 51.94; 4. Floyd, Nigel (ER) 57.46; 6. Min, Daniel (ER) 1:01.80
Girls 100 Yard Breaststroke: 1. Cvancara, Ruth (D) 1:08.80; 3. Morgan, Addison (C) 1:11.09; 4. Keen, Gracie (ER) 1:12.67; 5. Watsjold, Isabella (C) 1:12.95
Boys 100 Yard Breaststroke: 1. Heaphy, John (ER) 1:01.71; 2. Lodzins, Dalton (C) 1:03.42
Girls 400 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Dimond (Moody, Williams, Soldwedel, Willis), 3:41.05; 2. Chugiak 3:47.19.
Boys 400 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Dimond (Alfano, Chung, Walch, Dittlinger), 3:14.44; 2. Eagle River 3:16.32.