Local swimmers tear up the pool at state swimming and diving meet

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 14:28
  • Eagle River’s Ellie Mercer leaves the start of the girls 100 yard backstroke at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. Mercer won the race to claim her first state championship. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s John Heaphy swims the butterfly stroke en route to victory in the boys 200 individual medley race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak swimmers watch the action from the warm-up pool during the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Ethan Christiansen swims to a sixth-place finish in the boys 50 yard freestyle race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Ellie Mercer swims to victory in the girls 100 yard backstroke race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Gabe Dobson leaves the diving board en route to a fourth-place finish in 1-meter diving at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Addison Morgan swims to a sixth-place finish in the girls 100 yard breaststroke at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Izzy Powers swims to victory in the girls 100 yard freestyle race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Izzy Powers, center, dives into the water alongside Lathrop’s Katy McCarter at the start of the girls 100 yard freestyle race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. Morgan won the race, one of two individual victories for the CHS senior, who also won the 50 free. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s John Heaphy races to victory in the boys 100 yard breaststroke at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Kathering Horning swims to a second-place finish in the girls 50 yard freestyle race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Kiara Borchardt races to a second-place finish in the girls 100 yard butterfly race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Ellie Mercer, left, shakes hands with Chugiak’s Izzy Powers following the girls 100 yard freestyle race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday. Powers won the race and Mercer finished third. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Last year’s state high school swim meet proved to be a pool of despair for Eagle River’s John Heaphy and Chugiak’s Izzy Powers.

The duo entered the meet as two of the state’s most dominant swimmers, yet neither left with an individual title — Heaphy got nipped at the line in the 100-yard breaststroke by Thunder Mountain’s Bergen Davis, while an injured Powers failed to defend the 50- and 100-yard freestyle titles she won as a sophomore.

What a difference a year makes.

Heaphy won the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke Saturday at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High, while Powers reclaimed her freestyle crowns in the final high school meet for both athletes on a banner day for local swimmers.

“Honestly, it feels amazing, especially after last year,” said Heaphy, who led the Eagle River boys to a program best fourth-place finish in the team standings.

Powers was similarly stoked to be back atop the podium.

“It’s nice to be back in that position,” she said.

The fourth-place finish for the Eagle River boys was one spot lower than the Eagle River girls, who finished third to equal the 2015 Chugiak girls for the best finish at state by a local girls team.

Combined team scores are no longer kept at the state meet, but if they were the Wolves would have finished second overall behind Dimond, which won the girls team title Saturday for the fourth straight time and finished second in the boys standings behind Service.

“They did exceptionally well,” said Wolves head coach Patrick Garrity. “Everybody extended themselves.”

Ellie Mercer won the 100 backstroke for the Eagle River girls and finished third in the 100 freestyle while also swimming on two second-place relays.

Mercer said her narrow finals win over Sitka’s Jessica Davis was a bit of a surprise.

“It was amazing — I did not think I was going to win,” Mercer said after winning her first individual state title. “Jessica Davis is so good, and she was ahead of me but I literally gave it my all in the last 25.”

How’d she do it?

“I just couldn’t let her beat me,” Mercer explained. “I’m super competitive.”

Eagle River’s girls team opened Saturday’s finals strong, with Mercer, Gracie Keen, Kiara Borchardt and Katherine Horning finishing second in the 200 medley relay behind Sitka. Mercer, Horning, Keen and Hannah Shaw later finished second in the 200 freestyle relay.

The Wolves had just four individual finalists, but all four made the podium. In addition to her win in the 100 backstroke, Mercer finished third in the 100 freestyle, while Horning was second in the 50 freestyle and Borchardt was runner-up in the 100 butterfly.

Powers’ wins helped the Chugiak girls to an eighth-place finish. The University of Hawaii-bound senior also swam on Chugiak’s sixth-place 200 freestyle relay team with Shelby Thompson, Aeia Davis and Addison Morgan. Morgan was the only other CHS finalist Saturday, finishing sixth in the 100 breaststroke.

Powers said her last high school meet was bittersweet. The Aurora Swim Team club swimmer said she’s excited for college and the rest of her club season, but bummed to be leaving her Mustang teammates behind.

“It’s a little bit sad. This has been my life for the last four years, the Chugiak family,” she said.

Diver Gabe Dobson finished fourth for the Chugiak boys, who finished in 15th place. Chugiak coach Anne Williams said the Mustangs had solid swims by several swimmers in the preliminaries, and with just five graduating seniors in the program, she said the future is bright.

“We’re very young,” she said.

The fourth-place finish for the Eagle River boys was no fluke — the Wolves have been in the top 10 every year since 2013 and have finished in the top six in four straight seasons. In addition to Heaphy’s dominance, the Wolves got strong performances from freshman Matthew Heaphy and Ethan Christiansen. The younger Heaphy was third in the 200 individual medley and fourth in the 100 breaststroke, while Christiansen was sixth in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. The Heaphys, Christiansen and Josiah Keen also joined forces on the Wolves’ second-place 200 medley relay team.

Coach Patrick Garrity said his star swimmer has been a big part of the team’s success. In addition to being a standout in the pool, Garrity said John Heaphy has brought energy and leadership to the entire program.

“When you have someone step up like that, it creates a culture,” said Garrity, who coaches many of Chugiak and Eagle River’s top athletes as an assistant to Williams on the Chugiak Aquatics Club team.

The good news for the Wolves is Heaphy — who will swim at Division II McKendree University next year — will leave behind a lasting legacy. And his younger brother.

The elder Heaphy said swimming alongside his younger brother this season was a special experience, and the two lingered in the pool after the meet was over as John shared some parting words of wisdom with Matthew.

“I love that kid, he’s going to be great,” said John, who called his younger brother “a beast.”

“He works his butt off.”

Heaphy’s final meet was an emotional experience, and he nearly cried as he talked about his four years at a school that doesn’t have its own swimming pool yet has developed into an Alaska swim power.

“I love Eagle River so much, I’m going to break up,” he said. “I love it. It’s sad, but I’m ready to put it away. I had my time and it was fun, but now it’s on to the next thing.”

Watching from the pool deck Saturday was the Heaphys’ mother, Angela, who was beaming with pride after watching her sons tear up the water together.

“It’s a great day to be a mom,” she said.

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected] or call 257-4274.

ASAA State Swim and Dive Championship 2018 - 11/2/2018

Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 24

1, Dimond High School, 96. 2, Sitka High School, 72. 3, Eagle River High

School, 57. 4, Palmer High School, 52. 5, Kodiak High School, 44. 6, South

Anchorage High School, 36. 7, West Valley High School, 35. 8, Chugiak High

School, 27. 9, Homer High School, 23. 10, Seward High School, 18. 11, Wasilla

High School, 15. 12, Lathrop High School, 13. 13, Soldotna High School, 12.

14, Petersburg High School, 11. 15, Monroe Catholic High School, 9. 16,

Hutchison High School, 7. 17, Thunder Mountain High School, 6. 17, West

Anchorage High School, 6. 19, Colony High 2018, 5. 19, Ketchikan High School,

5. 21, Juneau Douglas High School, 4. 22, Colony High School, 2.

Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 24

1, Service High School, 114. 2, Dimond High School, 99. 3, Kodiak High School,

61.5. 4, Eagle River High School, 60.5. 5, Kenai Central High School, 32. 5,

Juneau Douglas High School, 32. 7, West Valley High School, 29. 8, Thunder

Mountain High School, 26. 9, Soldotna High School, 24. 10, Hutchison High

School, 16. 11, Homer High School, 10. 12, Sitka High School, 8. 13, West

Anchorage High School, 7. 14, North Pole High School, 6. 15, Seward High

School, 5. 15, Chugiak High School, 5. 17, Wasilla High School, 4. 18, Colony

High School, 3. 19, West Anchorage High School, 2. 19, Unalaska High School,

2. 19, Wasilla High School, 2. 22, Petersburg High School, 1.

Girls 200 Yard Medley Relay

1, Sitka High School ” (Jessica Davis , Grace Harang , Sophia Schwantes ,

Kyleigh McArthur ), 1:49.80. 2, Eagle River High School ” (Ellie Mercer ,

Grace Keen , Kiara Borchardt , Katherine Horning ), 1:50.81. 3, Palmer High

School ” (Lindsay Musgrave , Ashtyn Petersen , Gretchen Snelders , Ellyse

Russell ), 1:53.20. 4, Kodiak High School ” (Adeleine Rogers , Leslie Spear ,

Devon Cummiskey , Ashleigh Nicholson ), 1:53.25.

Boys 200 Yard Medley Relay

1, Service High School ” (Brian Jarupakorn , Tavner Wisdom , Ian Sands ,

Caleb Law ), 1:34.00. 2, Eagle River High School ” (Josiah Keen , John Heaphy

, Matthew Heaphy , Ethan Christiansen ), 1:40.33. 3, Dimond High School ”

(Jacob Mitchell , Justin Ross , Noah Hoefer , Scott Babbitt ), 1:40.81. 4,

Kodiak High School ” (Ian Rocheleau , Anders Hocum , Wesley Dumm , Jackson

Krug ), 1:41.02.

Girls 200 Yard Freestyle

(Finals) 1, Breckynn Willis, DHS, 1:57.28. 2, Ellyse Russell, PHS, 1:59.25. 3,

Leslie Spear, KHS, 2:00.19. 4, Allie Morgan, PETER, 2:01.94.

Girls 200 Yard Freestyle

(Preliminaries) 1, Breckynn Willis, DHS, 1:58.50. 2, Ellyse Russell, PHS,

2:00.82. 3, Emi Soldwedel, DHS, 2:01.15. 4, Leslie Spear, KHS, 2:01.30.

Boys 200 Yard Freestyle

(Finals) 1, Maximus Addington, DHS, 1:42.31. 2, Jesse Tatakis, DHS, 1:45.35.

3, Nathan James, KHS, 1:47.43. 4, Andrew Walch, DHS, 1:48.64.

Boys 200 Yard Freestyle

(Preliminaries) 1, Maximus Addington, DHS, 1:43.78. 2, Jesse Tatakis, DHS,

1:46.68. 3, Nathan James, KHS, 1:47.56. 4, Andrew Walch, DHS, 1:48.81.

Girls 200 Yard IM

(Finals) 1, Lydia Jacoby, SEW, 2:09.31. 2, Dreamer Kowatch, DHS, 2:09.99. 3,

Grace Harang, SITKA, 2:12.25. 4, Summer Cheng, SAHS, 2:12.61.

Girls 200 Yard IM

(Preliminaries) 1, Dreamer Kowatch, DHS, 2:12.42. 2, Lydia Jacoby, SEW,

2:13.03. 3, Grace Harang, SITKA, 2:13.23. 4, Madison Story, HOMER, 2:14.06.

Boys 200 Yard IM

(Finals) 1, John Heaphy, ERHS, 1:56.16. 2, Noah Palmer, HHS, 1:59.24. 3,

Matthew Heaphy, ERHS, 2:00.74. 4, Christopher Loudon, DHS, 2:01.07.

Boys 200 Yard IM

(Preliminaries) 1, John Heaphy, ERHS, 1:58.40. 2, Noah Palmer, HHS, 2:00.04.

3, Nicholas Price, SHS, 2:00.71. 4, Tavner Wisdom, SHS, 2:00.98.

Girls 50 Yard Freestyle

(Finals) 1, Izzy Powers, CHS, 23.92. 2, Katherine Horning, ERHS, 24.69. 3,

Katy McCarter, LHS, 24.81. 4, Gretchen Snelders, PHS, 24.88.

Girls 50 Yard Freestyle

(Preliminaries) 1, Izzy Powers, CHS, 24.32. 2, Katherine Horning, ERHS, 24.79.

3, Katy McCarter, LHS, 24.81. 4, Gretchen Snelders, PHS, 24.97.

Boys 50 Yard Freestyle

(Finals) 1, Caleb Law, SHS, 20.60. 2, Ezra Billings, WVHS, 22.11. 3, Tyler

Weldon, JDHS, 22.25. 4, Ethan Evans, SOHI, 22.33.

Boys 50 Yard Freestyle

(Preliminaries) 1, Caleb Law, SHS, 20.73. 2, Ethan Evans, SOHI, 22.29. 3,

Tyler Weldon, JDHS, 22.44. 4, Camren Hancock, WW, 22.56.

Girls 1 mtr Diving

(Finals) 1, Jayde Chan, WAS, 419.20. 2, Jenna Walch, DHS, 403.25. 3, Carrie

Mayer, WAS, 374.00. 4, Chloe Hartman, PHS, 363.35.

Girls 1 mtr Diving

(Semi-Finals) 1, Jenna Walch, DHS, 294.70. 2, Jayde Chan, WAS, 282.20. 3,

Chloe Hartman, PHS, 259.85. 4, Carrie Mayer, WAS, 254.80.

Girls 1 mtr Diving

(Preliminaries) 1, Jenna Walch, DHS, 180.40. 2, Jayde Chan, WAS, 180.20. 3,

Tyler Coffman, PHS, 160.30. 4, Chloe Hartman, PHS, 158.70.

Boys 1 mtr Diving

(Finals) 1, Kylin Welch, SOHI, 433.15. 2, Houlton Dannenberg, WAHS, 410.15. 3,

Sam Skolnick, SOHI, 407.60. 4, Gabe Dobson, CHS, 391.20.

Boys 1 mtr Diving

(Semi-Finals) 1, Kylin Welch, SOHI, 314.50. 2, Sam Skolnick, SOHI, 295.30. 3,

Houlton Dannenberg, WAHS, 291.90. 4, Marty Rygh, DHS, 289.00.

Boys 1 mtr Diving

(Preliminaries) 1, Kylin Welch, SOHI, 194.90. 2, Houlton Dannenberg, WAHS,

193.05. 3, Sam Skolnick, SOHI, 192.10. 4, Kade Reynolds, WAS, 187.90.

Girls 100 Yard Butterfly

(Finals) 1, Breckynn Willis, DHS, 58.03. 2, Kiara Borchardt, ERHS, 58.23. 3,

Devon Cummiskey, KHS, 58.58. 4, Jessica Davis, SITKA, 59.40.

Girls 100 Yard Butterfly

(Preliminaries) 1, Devon Cummiskey, KHS, 58.90. 2, Kiara Borchardt, ERHS,

59.04. 3, Breckynn Willis, DHS, 59.07. 4, Heidi Billings, WVHS, 59.34.

Boys 100 Yard Butterfly

(Finals) 1, Brian Jarupakorn, SHS, 50.47. 2, Maximus Addington, DHS, 50.65. 3,

Ian Sands, SHS, 53.49. 4, Connor Spanos, SEW, 53.97.

Boys 100 Yard Butterfly

(Preliminaries) 1, Maximus Addington, DHS, 51.50. 2, Brian Jarupakorn, SHS,

52.12. 3, Ian Sands, SHS, 54.59. 4, Ethan Evans, SOHI, 54.78.

Girls 100 Yard Freestyle

(Finals) 1, Izzy Powers, CHS, 52.53. 2, Katy McCarter, LHS, 53.84. 3, Ellie

Mercer, ERHS, 53.86. 4, Aubrey Cheng, SAHS, 54.13.

Girls 100 Yard Freestyle

(Preliminaries) 1, Katy McCarter, LHS, 54.08. 2, Izzy Powers, CHS, 54.38. 3,

Gretchen Snelders, PHS, 54.97. 4, Ellie Mercer, ERHS, 55.00.

Boys 100 Yard Freestyle

(Finals) 1, Caleb Law, SHS, 46.08. 2, Jesse Tatakis, DHS, 47.79. 3,

Christopher Loudon, DHS, 48.30. 4, Savaii Heaven, KCHS, 48.41.

Boys 100 Yard Freestyle

(Preliminaries) 1, Caleb Law, SHS, 46.49. 2, Jesse Tatakis, DHS, 48.33. 3,

Christopher Loudon, DHS, 48.58. 4, Savaii Heaven, KCHS, 48.84.

Girls 500 Yard Freestyle

(Finals) 1, Dreamer Kowatch, DHS, 5:14.82. 2, Grace Harang, SITKA, 5:17.13. 3,

Ryann Dorris, WHS, 5:24.05. 4, Cassidey Welsh, HHS, 5:26.18.

Girls 500 Yard Freestyle

(Preliminaries) 1, Grace Harang, SITKA, 5:17.42. 2, Dreamer Kowatch, DHS,

5:22.69. 3, Ryann Dorris, WHS, 5:29.09. 4, Nancy Liddle, TMHS, 5:29.50.

Boys 500 Yard Freestyle

(Finals) 1, Noah Palmer, HHS, 4:42.58. 2, Raymie Matiashowski, TMHS, 4:52.83.

3, Tytan Frawley, SITKA, 4:53.56. 4, Kenneth Octuk, DHS, 4:53.58.

Boys 500 Yard Freestyle

(Preliminaries) 1, Noah Palmer, HHS, 4:52.83. 2, Kenneth Octuk, DHS, 4:54.20.

3, Raymie Matiashowski, TMHS, 4:55.46. 4, Tytan Frawley, SITKA, 4:56.14.

Girls 200 Yard Freestyle Relay

1, Dimond High School ” (Breckynn Willis , Brooke Dittlinger , Emi Soldwedel

, Dreamer Kowatch ), 1:40.40. 2, Eagle River High School ” (Katherine Horning

, Hannah Shaw , Grace Keen , Ellie Mercer ), 1:40.91. 3, Palmer High School ”

(Ashtyn Petersen , Maria Beck , Ellyse Russell , Gretchen Snelders ), 1:40.92.

4, Homer High School ” (Madison Story , Ella Blanton-Yourkowski , Adeline

Berry , Alia Bales ), 1:42.67.

Boys 200 Yard Freestyle Relay

1, Service High School ” (Brian Jarupakorn , Ian Sands , Austin Carpenter ,

Caleb Law ), 1:25.47. 2, Kodiak High School ” (Gavin Speth , Nevin Lee ,

Jackson Krug , Nathan James ), 1:30.28. 3, Eagle River High School ” (John

Heaphy , Josiah Keen , Matthew Heaphy , Ethan Christiansen ), 1:30.49. 4, West

Valley High School ” (Chris Kim , Crieghton Beshears , Vincent Maio , Ezra

Billings ), 1:31.70.

Girls 100 Yard Backstroke

(Finals) 1, Ellie Mercer, ERHS, 58.40. 2, Jessica Davis, SITKA, 58.88. 3,

Summer Cheng, SAHS, 1:00.07. 4, Victoria Schachle, MHS, 1:02.38.

Girls 100 Yard Backstroke

(Preliminaries) 1, Ellie Mercer, ERHS, 59.15. 2, Jessica Davis, SITKA, 59.89.

3, Summer Cheng, SAHS, 1:01.52. 4, Victoria Schachle, MHS, 1:03.80.

Boys 100 Yard Backstroke

(Finals) 1, Brian Jarupakorn, SHS, 51.50. 2, Savaii Heaven, KCHS, 52.77. 3,

Austin Carpenter, SHS, 52.84. 4, Ian Rocheleau, KHS, 54.37.

Boys 100 Yard Backstroke

(Preliminaries) 1, Brian Jarupakorn, SHS, 52.46. 2, Savaii Heaven, KCHS,

54.00. 3, Austin Carpenter, SHS, 54.53. 4, Nicholas Price, SHS, 54.77.

Girls 100 Yard Breaststroke

(Finals) 1, Lydia Jacoby, SEW, 1:03.11. 2, Patty Eppingher, WVHS, 1:07.43. 3,

Leslie Spear, KHS, 1:07.88. 4, Anastasia Chen, WVHS, 1:08.69.

Girls 100 Yard Breaststroke

(Preliminaries) 1, Lydia Jacoby, SEW, 1:03.68. 2, Patty Eppingher, WVHS,

1:07.50. 3, Leslie Spear, KHS, 1:08.23. 4, Anastasia Chen, WVHS, 1:08.37.

Boys 100 Yard Breaststroke

(Finals) 1, John Heaphy, ERHS, 56.76. 2, Tavner Wisdom, SHS, 59.37. 3, Anders

Hocum, KHS, 59.42. 4, Matthew Heaphy, ERHS, 1:00.52.

Boys 100 Yard Breaststroke

(Preliminaries) 1, John Heaphy, ERHS, 57.25. 2, Anders Hocum, KHS, 59.30. 3,

Tavner Wisdom, SHS, 59.77. 4, Matthew Heaphy, ERHS, 1:00.89.

Girls 400 Yard Freestyle Relay

1, Dimond High School ” (Breckynn Willis , Emi Soldwedel , Mikayla Terry ,

Dreamer Kowatch ), 3:38.19. 2, Sitka High School ” (Grace Harang , Molly

Blackmon , Jessica Davis , Kyleigh McArthur ), 3:39.25. 3, Kodiak High School

” (Devon Cummiskey , Emily Hubert , Ashleigh Nicholson , Leslie Spear ),

3:43.63. 4, South Anchorage High School ” (Summer Cheng , Aubrey Cheng ,

Madeline Bingham , Rhianna Merriman ), 3:46.68.

Boys 400 Yard Freestyle Relay

1, Dimond High School ” (Maximus Addington , Christopher Loudon , Kenneth

Octuk , Jesse Tatakis ), 3:11.95. 2, Service High School ” (Ian Sands ,

Nicholas Price , Tavner Wisdom , Austin Carpenter ), 3:16.51. 3, Kodiak High

School ” (Ian Rocheleau , Patrick Peralta , Nathan James , Nevin Lee ),

3:17.74. 4, Juneau Douglas High School ” (Tate Goering , Caleb Peimann ,

Adrell Mulgrew-Truitt , Tyler Weldon ), 3:20.53.

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