Local Swimming wraps up for summer, gears up for big Fall

Kachemak Swim Club grew by almost 40 percent last school year and is expecting another banner year in 2017-18.

The club’s summer season came to an exciting conclusion at the AK Summer Long Course Championships July 28-30, where the pool is converted to the grueling 50 meter length seen in the Olympics. Six Kachemak Swim Club Kings qualified and participated in the meet: Lauren Kuhns, Madison Story, Ella Blanton-Yourkowski, Bristol Johnson, Lucas Story and Annabelle Franciscone. Led by Kuhns and Madison Story, who finished third and second overall in their respective age groups, all six Homer athletes scored points for the team and contributed to the club winning the coveted “Most Points Per Swimmer” award for the meet.

Madison Story used the meet as a springboard for the Western Zone Age Group Championships Aug. 9-12 in California, where she joined the Alaska All-Star Team in racing the fastest young swimmers in the Western U.S.

Meanwhile, both the Homer High Swim and Dive team and the Kachemak Swim Club are busy preparing for their competitive seasons. Thaddaeus Gunther is the head coach of both programs and is beginning his second stint at the helm of the Homer High School program. He will be looking to key veterans and exciting newcomers on his quest to bring a Region 3 championship back to Homer, a feat last accomplished by the high school team during Gunther’s last tenure as the coach in 2006.

Kachemak Swim Club is also ramping up as the school year gets under way. Elementary- and middle-school swimmers can see the new practice times and register for the season at kachemakswim.org.

The high school team starts off with a bang, traveling to state powerhouse Kodiak for a dual, then returning for their two most important home events of the season in successive weekends.

The Homer Mariner Triathlon is Saturday, Sep. 2. Local swimmers, cyclists and runners are invited to participate as individuals or as 3-person teams alongside the Homer High School Swim and Dive team in swimming 1,000 yards in the pool, then transitioning to a 15-mile bike ride and finally a 5-mile run back to the high school. The event draws participants of all levels, from novice to experienced, from across Southcentral Alaska and serves as a fundraiser for the team. You can find more information and sign up at facebook.com/HomerMarinerTri or contacting Paul Story at 299-3523.

The Homer Invite is Sep. 8-9, featuring the diving event Friday evening and the swimming events on Saturday. The meet is the first big Region 3 invitational of the season and will include teams from Colony, Kodiak, Soldotna, Kenai and Seward.