State's best take to the swimming pool

Anchorage Daily NewsNovember 5, 2011 

East High swim coach Cliff Murray couldn't contain his excitement at Saturday's state swimming and diving championships.

The usually reserved coach punched the air above his head as he jumped for joy deckside at the Bartlett High pool, celebrating a Thunderbirds' victory in the girls 200-yard freestyle relay.

"I don't think many people thought we were going to win that," he said. "On paper, that was Kodiak's relay."

As the fourth seed in the race, the East girls pulled off one of Saturday's biggest upsets in an action-packed day in the pool, but it didn't prevent the Kodiak girls from cruising to a team title.

After finishing second in the last two state meets, the Bears got two individual wins apiece from freshmen Ila Hughes and Tahna Lindquist to make the jump to first place this time.

On the boys side, Dimond won its third straight team title behind two victories from swimmer-of-the-meet Jackson Ursin.

The girls swimmer-of-the meet was East senior Sam Wicks, who stole the show by breaking her own state record in the 100 backstroke for the second time in two days.

Wicks and Ketchikan's 100 butterfly champion Janelle Stacey were the top two seeds in the much-anticipated girls backstroke, and they didn't disappoint. Both swam personal bests and both bettered the previous state record, but Wicks' time of 54.78 seconds blew away Stacey's 56.21 along with the record of 56.27 Wicks set in Friday's preliminaries.

"She did something amazing and I am really proud of her," Stacey said. "We brought the best out in each other."

Murray said one of Wicks' major goals this season was to break 55 seconds in the backstroke (the national high school record is 51.53, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations). Another big goal is to make a strong showing in next month's U.S. Nationals in Georgia and qualify for next year's Olympic trials, said Murray.

Saturday, however, Wicks was focused on finishing her high school career. Along with winning Saturday's 200 freestyle, she also swam the first leg in the girls' 200 free relay, and she said those 50 yards may have had something to do with her extreme speed in the backstroke, which took place just minutes later.

"I led off the relay with a lifetime best," she said. "I was really excited for that."

Wicks quickly made her way over to the practice pool for a cool down, where she watched her three teammates each swim 50-yard personal bests in their legs of the relay.

"I love the fact that it's four people coalescing together to be something better than they are by themselves," Murray said. "They got three sisters for the rest of their life."

Wicks, who has orally committed to swim for Boise State next season, said the relay victory pumped her up, so when she went back to the starting blocks following the boys 200 free relay, she felt minimal nerves.

"I got up there and they started announcing people's names and I just started smiling," Wicks said.

Juneau's Nathan Messing also felt a buzz on the starting blocks. He snared his first two state titles as a substantial underdog in both events. He said he woke up Saturday feeling extremely tired after a long Friday of prelims, but just before the boys 100 butterfly he felt a jolt of adrenaline.

"I just had a lot of energy," he said.

The boost was strong enough to spur the sixth seed to a time of 52.88, nearly three seconds faster than his preliminary time of 55.09.

The win gave Messing so much confidence, he predicted he would win the 100 backstroke too, and he did. The No. 3 seed, he cruised to victory in 53.18, more than two seconds faster than his preliminary time.

Dimond's Austin Hummel was watching when Messing won his first race from lane seven, and it made the top-seed in the boys 100 freestyle a little nervous.

"Anything can happen in these races," Hummel said.

The senior, who finished second in the 50 freestyle, steadied himself enough to get his first state title in the 100 freestyle, finishing in 48.19.

"I felt great, but overall I wanted to break 48 seconds, so I'm kinda bummed," he said.

Ursin, a junior, decisively won the 200 freestyle (1:45.38) and 500 freestyle (4:49.44) and also swam a leg on Dimond's winning 400 free relay team to lead the Lynx.

As for Kodiak's dynamic freshman duo, Hughes and Lindquist made the most of their first state meet. Both were on the winning 400 free relay team, Hughes grabbed wins in the 50 free and 100 free and Lindquist took the 200 individual medley and the 500 free.

"I was so nervous, I thought I was going to puke or something, but it turned out good." Hughes said. "It's really exciting to be a part of a team with a chance to win."

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.

ASAA/First National Bank

State swimming and diving championships

Bartlett High

Final results (all distances in yards)

Girls

Team scores --1) Kodiak 118, 2) Ketchikan 81, 3) Dimond 68, 4) Juneau-Douglas 65, 5) East 43, 6) Service 31, 7) West Valley 29, 8) Chugiak 25, 9) Seward 17, 10) Homer 13, 11) tie, West and Soldotna 10, 13) tie, Valdez and North Pole 8; 15) IDEA 7, 16) tie, South and Lathrop 4, 18) tie, Kenai and Sitka 3, 20) Palmer 2, 21) tie, Thunder Mountain and Eagle River 1.

200 medley relay -- 1. Ketchikan (Isabel Stephens, Kassandra Klose, Janelle Stacey, Ella Sherrill), 1:49.88; 2. Juneau 149.91; 3. Dimond 151.43; 4. Kodiak 1:52.50; 5. Seward 1:58.38; 6. West Valley 1:58.72. 7. Chugiak, 1:59.04. 200 free -- 1. Sam Wicks, East, 1:50.88; 2. Jori Lindquist, Kod, 1:56.21; 3. Jennifer Wilcox, Dim, 1:56.96; 4. Maddy Stephens, Ket, 1:57.67; 5. Katy Dalton, West, 1:58.00; 6. Olivia Pfeifer, Ken, 1:59.85. 7. Hayley Holt, Dimond, 2:03.99. 8, Auri Clark, Juneau, 2:04.90. 200 IM -- 1. Tahna Lindquist, Kod, 2:10.30; 2. Celeste Beck-Goodell, Kod, 2:12.24; 3. Arianna Rohde, Dim, 2:12.47; 4. Kari Wray, Dim, 2:12.90; 5. Dakota Isaak, Jun, 2:14.28; 6. Hannah Norris, Val, 2:16.06. 7. Sammye Jones, Kodiak, 2:16.46; 8. Kassandra Klose, Ketchikan, 2:18.04. 50 free -- 1. Ila Hughes, Kod, 23.88; 2. Mary Uselmann, Ser, 24.14; 3. Ciera Kelly, Jun, 24.40; 4. Martha Hood, IDEA, 24.99; 5. Isabel Stephens, Ket, 25.12; 6. Megan Reid, Sit, 25.24. 7. Alex Weeks, Soldotna, 25.35; Eileen Audette, Seward, 25.51. 1-meter diving -- 1. Kaitlin Friedli, Chu, 355.05; 2. Sophie Hogen, Kod, 344.45; 3. Lindsey Seneff, Hom, 307.45; 4. Anna Villa, NP, 286.50; 5. Megan Burbank, Lat, 283.15; 6. Abby Hess, NP, 277.40. 7. Kasandra Navales, Ketchikan, 276.55; 8. Jasmine Lewis, Homer, 271.80. 100 fly -- 1. Janelle Stacey, Ket, 56.56; 2. Jennifer Wilcox, Dim, 58.56; 3. Ciera Kelly, Jun, 58.71; 4. Auri Clark, Jun, 58.83; 5. Jesi Cavanaugh, East, 59.26; 6. Victoria Adams, Ser, 1:00.40; 7. Noelle Graham, Palmer, 1:01:00; 8. Dana Olesch, Homer, 1:01.78. 100 free -- 1. Ila Hughes, Kod, 51.67; 2. Mary Uselmann, Ser, 52.65; 3. Sammy Burke, Chu, 53.09; 4. Hannah Norris, Val, 55.11; 5. Kaylynn Donnolly, WV, 55.42; 6. Isabel Stephens, Ket, 55.63; 7. Megan Jester, Kodiak, 56.08; 8. Ella Sherrill, Ketchikan, 56.25. 500 free -- 1. Tahna Lindquist, Kod, 5:10.40; 2. Celeste Beck-Goodell, Kod, 5:11.12; 3. Katy Dalton, West, 5:20.77; 4. Marie Schmidt, Hom, 5:22.51; 5. Marlana Tuccillo, Sou, 5:28.08; 6. McKinley Wallace, East, 5:28.51; 7. Hayley Holt, Dimond, 5:29.88; 8) Kaitlyn Mondl, Eagle River, 5:30.85. 200 free relay -- 1. East (Sam Wicks, Carrie Sauerbrey, Jesi Cavanaugh, McKinley Wallace), 1:38.49; 2. Kodiak 1:38.81; 3. Juneau 1:41.24; 4. Ketchikan 1:41.94; 5. Soldotna 1:45.60; 6. West Valley 1:45.91; 7. Dimond, 1:46.72; 8. Chugiak, 1:48.25. 100 back -- 1. Sam Wicks, East, 54.78; 2. Janelle Stacey, Ket, 56.21; 3. Victoria Adams, Ser, 58.15; 4. Jori Lindquist, Kod, 59.13; 5. Sammy Burke, Chu, 59.86; 6. Arianna Rohde, Dim, 1:00.54. 7. Haley Mertz, Juneau, 1:00.70; 8. Maddy Stephens, Ketchikan, 1:01.88. 100 breast -- 1. Kari Wray, Dim, 1:07.24; 2. Kira O'Donoghue, WV, 1:08.77; 3. Kassandra Klose, Ket, 1:08.92; 4. Dakota Isaak, Jun, 1:09.07; 5. Eileen Audette, Sew, 1:09.61; 6. Sammye Jones, Kod, 1:09.99; Martha Hood, IDEA, 1:10.49; 8. Hannah Brockman, Thunder Mountain, 1:11.42. 400 free relay -- 1. Kodiak (Jori Lindquist, Tahna Lindquist, Celest Beck-Goodell, Ila Hughes), 3:33.88; 2. Ketchikan 3:39.72; 3. Dimond 3:44.58; 4. Juneau 3:50.18; 5. Service 3:53.06; 6. West Valley 3:53.53; 7. Seward, 3:54.26.

Boys

Team scores -- 1) Dimond 129, 2) Sitka 59, 3) Homer 57, 4) Petersburg 54, 5) South 51, 6) Kodiak 41, 7) West Valley 37, 8) Ketchikan 21, 9) Juneau-Douglas 20, 10) Soldotna 19, 11) North Pole 15, 12) East 13, 13) Thunder Mountain 11, 14) Craig 10, 15) Chugiak 8, 16) Service 8, 17) Palmer 4, 18) Lathrop 1.

200 medley relay -- 1. Dimond (Cory Chan, Joseph Sandstrom, Erik Wilcox, Austin Hummel), 1:38.49; 2. Petersburg 1:40.45; 3. Sitka 1:41.08; 4. Soldotna 1:41.52; 5. Homer 1:41.83; 6. Chugiak 1:44.27; 7. Ketchikan, 1:45.91; 8. West Valley, 1:48.15. 200 free -- 1. Jackson Ursin, Dim, 1:45.38; 2. Michael Smith, Kod, 1:47.57; 3. Brandon Rankin, WV, 1:47.71; 4. JD Kramer, NP, 1:48.51; 5. Micah Stocker, East, 1:48.74; 6. Michael Summers, Dim, 1:49.41; 7. Merek Corporon, Ketchikan, 1:49.95; 8) Luis Marquez, West Valley, 1:51.28. 200 IM -- 1. Preston Marsh, Pet, 1:55.27; 2. Louis Belley, Sit, 1:58.68; 3. Erik Wilcox, Dim, 1:58.70; 4. Joseph Sandstrom, Dim, 1:59.16; 5. Carlton Burnside, Kod, 2:02.18; 6. Case Kuikhoven, Ket, 2:03.46; 7. Alexander Emili, South, 2:07.46; 8. Blake James, Kodiak, 2:09.68. 50 free -- 1. Richard Ginter, Hom, 21.82; 2. Austin Hummel, Dim, 22.44; 3. Brent O'Connor, Cra, 22.58; 4. Spencer Rockwell, Sou, 22.62; 5. Nathanael Hardy, Hom, 22.81; 6. Abel Aulbach, Pet, 22.97; 7. Kenny Fox, Thunder Mtn., 23.07; 8. Spencer Bloom, Palmer, 23.08. 1-meter diving -- 1. Cade Bennett, Dim, 474.75; 2. Scott Hodgson, Sou, 401.15; 3. Cody Frazier, NP, 369.40; 4. Joshua Oldham, East, 363.90; 5. Garrett Hall, Hom, 350.30; 6. Rafe Hembree, WV, 332.35; 7. Keith Andrews, Juneau, 301.90; 8. Brian Rowe, Homer, 282.05. 100 fly -- 1. Nathan Messing, Jun, 52.88; 2. Richard Ginter, Hom, 53.01; 3. Cory Chan, Dim, 53.81; 4. Alexander Emili, Sou, 54.17; 5. Brandon Rankin, WV, 54.99; 6. Luis Marquez, WV, 55.38; 7. Kenny Fox, Thunder Mtn., 55.47; 8. Merek, Corporon, Ketchikan, 55.75. 100 free -- 1. Austin Hummel, Dim, 48.19; 2. Jacob Reid, Sit, 48.92; 3. Christian Carrico, Sol, 49.48; 4. Abel Aulbach, Pet, 49.55; 5. Carlton Burnside, Kod, 49.75; 6. Rowan Bulkow, Ser, 49.97; 7. Spencer Rockwell, South, 50.03; 8. Carl Sundstren-Brenner, Sitka, 50.12. 500 free -- 1. Jackson Ursin, Dim, 4:49.44; 2. Case Kuikhoven, Ket, 4:51.18; 3. Michael Smith, Kod, 4:52.94; 4. Michael Summers, Dim, 4:53.12; 5. JD Kramer, NP, 4:56.11; 6. Brandon Schauff, Kod, 5:04.19; 7. Ellis Miller, Ketchikan, 5:08.63; 8. Calvin Walsh, Thunder Mtn., 5:14.64. 200 free relay -- 1. Homer (Richard Ginter, James Reid, Nathanael Hardy, Kyle Wentz), 1:30.11; 2. Dimond 1:30.56; 3. South 1:31.95; 4. Kodiak 1:32.03; 5. Sitka 1:32.39; 6. West Valley 1:33.57; 7. Craig, 1:33.99; 8. Thunder Mountain, 1:34.24. 100 back -- 1. Nathan Messing, Jun, 53.18; 2. Louis Belley, Sit, 53.38; 3. Zachary Rockwell, Sou, 54.71; 4. Cory Chan, Dim, 54.81; 5. Micah Stocker, East, 55.13; 6. Spencer Bloom, Pal, 56.91; 7. Andrew Espe, Chugiak, 57.04; 8. Paul Owens, Lathrop, 57.97. 100 breast -- 1. Preston Marsh, Pet, 59.22; 2. Jacob Reid, Sit, 1:01.05; 3. Joseph Sandstrom, Dim, 1:01.22; 4. Nathanael Hardy, Hom, 1:02.25; 5. Ben Vandermeer, WV, 1:02.70; 6. Christian Carrico, Sol, 1:03.35; 7. Thomas Krasnican, Service, 1:04.15. 8. James Reid, Homer, 1:05.22. 400 free relay -- 1. Dimond (Jackson Ursin, Erik Wilcox, Cory Chan, Austin Hummel), 3:14.97; 2. Petersburg 3:18.12; 3. South 3:21.69; 4. Sitka 3:21.92; 5. West Valley 3:22.27; 6. Kodiak 3:23.62; 7. Thunder Mountain, 3:25.14; 8. Ketchikan, 3:26.35.

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