KSC advances in age group championships

The Kachemak Swim Club Kings scored 77 points to place 16th at last weekend’s Alaska Age Group Championship Swim Meet in Juneau, bettering their 2014 performance of 13 points and 21st place. Scoring 977 points, Aurora Swim Team of Anchorage slipped past Glacier Swim Club of Juneau, with 971 points, to win the team championship; Northern Lights Swim Club of Anchorage was third with 755. 

Finishing the meet with 78 percent PRs, personal records, in the preliminary sessions and 81 percent in the finals, the Kings narrowly missed their goal of 80 percent PRs for individual races. Their relay PR percentage was 79 percent, also short of the team’s  90 percent goal. With best times in four of every five swims over the three-day meet, the Kings had many races with which to be pleased, however.

Three Kings were nominated for KSC Swimmer of the Meet. The two runners-up were 10-year-old Lucas Story, who recorded 100 percent individual and relay PRs, earned two new Alaska Junior Olympic qualifying times in the 50 breaststroke with a time of 56.94 and the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:41.92, and placed sixth in the 100 breaststroke. Eleven-year-old Ella Yourkowski swam 100 percent preliminary and final PRs, scored in five events and notched new JO cuts in the 50 back with 34.57, 100 free with 1:06.98, and 100 back with 1:15.88. 

Emerging as KSC Swimmer of the Meet was 14-year-old Griffin Downey, who scored in every event he swam to earn a team-high 28 points, led off the 200 relay with 25.99 and the 400 relay with 56.36, new USA Swimming “A” times, and added three more “A” times in the 100 fly, 1:01.02; 200 IM, 2:17.20; and 200 breast, 2:32.03),.

Additional highlights include: 

100 percent preliminary PRs: Ella Blanton-Yourkowski, Iris Downey, Piper Kassouni, Lucas Story

100 percent final PRs: Ella Blanton-Yourkowski

100 percent relay PRs: Griffin Downey, McKenzy Johnson, Piper Kassouni, Luke Nelson, Lucas Nelson

100 percent individual and relay PRs: Lucas Story

New Alaska Junior Olympic Championship cuts: Ella Blanton-Yourkowski, Theodore Castellani, Carly Nelson, Luke Nelson, Lucas Story

Point-scorers (top 8): Griffin Downey, Theodore Castellani, Ella Blanton-Yourkowski, Piper Kassouni, Carly Nelson, Lucas Story, Luke Nelson

Podium-placers (top 3): Theodore Castellani

Relay Big Award: McKenzy Johnson dropped four seconds in the fly leg of the 200 medley relay (41.38); dropped three seconds in the 400 free relay (1:21.99); and  dropped three seconds in the 200 free relay (35.24).

Spirit Award: Carly Nelson for vociferously cheering teammates from end and side of pool.

The Kings compete next in the Soldotna Invitational, Feb. 28 and March 1. 

KSC is a non-profit, year-round youth sports organization that practices in the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center and competes around the peninsula, state and the region. Anyone age 6 or older who can swim the width of the pool in freestyle and backstroke is encouraged to tryout. Contact Head Coach Neil Romney at neilromney@gmail.com or 405-795-339, or visit ksc.tundratechnologies.com.