The Homer High School swimmers took a week off, but Coach Harmon Hall and five Mariner divers headed to Chugiak to participate in the dive portion of the Bartlett-Chugiak Invitation swim-dive meet last Saturday.
“It was an experience,” said Hall of the full day of competition.
“There were 22 boys and 17 girls from all over the state. Nineteen schools were there. We saw everybody except for Fairbanks, who has one boy diver ranked in the top five.”
Competing for Homer were Ian Hall, Ren Carroll, Spencer Warren, Daniel Wiest and Annali Metz.
The competition consisted of five rounds, with the score of each diver’s round determining if the athlete advanced to the next round.
Ian Hall was Homer’s only diver to complete all rounds.
“He was the only (Homer) diver to go all the way through and ended up with 313.20 points,’ said Hall.
Carroll made it past the first round, but didn’t get past the second round. He scored a total 101.50 points.
“Warren and Wiest dove well,” said Hall.
“Their degree of difficulty wasn’t high enough, but they scored solid fives all the way across.”
Warren had a total 111 points and Wiest had 115.
Metz also made it past the first round, but not through the second.
“She did well and scored 130, which is not bad,” said Hall, considering “there were some pretty top-notch boys and girls” at the event.
That many divers and that much action required divers to stay focused. It also offered an opportunity for the Mariner coach and team to assess their weak points in preparation for upcoming meets.
“It’s nerve-wracking to be there with so many people,” said Hall.
“It’s not like going to Kenai when it’s just us and one other diver. And that’s the main reason I go. … I’m proud of everybody that went. They did well to walk into that arena.”
This week both the Mariner swim and dive teams head to Kenai, with the swim team competing on Friday and the dive team competing on Saturday.
Hall plans to take Ian Hall, Carroll and either Warren or Wiest.
“If they want to decide between them, I’ll let them. If not, we’ll have to have a dive-off competition,” said Hall of determining which of the two divers will round out the Mariners boys dive team in Kenai.
Metz also will be back on the diving board, in addition to Kimberly Bales.
“We’ll practice pretty hard this week and then we have another two weeks before we go to Palmer,” said Hall.
The schedule for this weekend’s dive and swim competition in Kenai includes:
• Diving, beginning at 9 a.m.
• Swimming, beginning at noon.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at email@example.com.
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