Rowe, Lewis take third, fourth in diving in State competition

A small group of the Mariners Swim and Dive Team returned from State Championships last weekend with personal victories to carry them into next season. Swimmer James Nagle and divers Brian Rowe, Jasmine Lewis and Katherine Dolma are looking to return to state next year with greater accomplishments.

James Nagle as the sole Mariner swimmer at State, swam in the 200M IM and 100 butterfly events.

“James worked really hard to make it to State this year and I am proud of him for making it that far. It was his first year at State and he swam hard,” said Head Swim Coach Rebecca Hardy.

Hardy said that it was difficult for Nagle to get excited in Anchorage without the support of his team there. Nagle describes the lack of team support as different, rather than difficult.

Not disappointed with the outcome at State, Nagle is using his experience as grounding for his senior year next season.

“I feel like I have to put my all in this next year in order to do great for my final year of swimming,” said Nagle.

Hardy loses only one swimmer to graduation this year, retaining most of her swimmers. Though it will still be a small team, Hardy is looking to take Nagle to State again next year along with a few other aquatic athletes.

In diving, Brian Rowe and Jasmine Lewis beat out a majority of the competition, placing third and fourth respectively in the finals. Last year, Rowe and Lewis finished at State in eighth place, making this year’s standings a great achievement, said Head Dive Coach Harmon Hall.

“What is most important is that these kids are having fun. When they come off that diving board I ask them ‘are you having fun?’ And if they say ‘yes,’ then that is all that matters,” said Hall.

Lewis is pleased with her results and attributes her success to a more defined focus, such as tighter and cleaner body positioning.

“Going into State this year I knew what I had to fix to get a higher score. Last year was my first year and I was still learning the ropes. With another year under my belt I feel more confident,” said Lewis.

This is Lewis’ second year on the dive team. Before moving to Homer last school year, Lewis was a level 8 gymnast in Wyoming.

Rowe, a third year diver, says his third place at State feels great. Earlier this season Rowe set the new Mariner dive record at 362.05. The previous record was set by former student Garrett Hall in 2011.

“My goals this year were to get first at Regions and onto the podium at State, both of which I met. Next year I am setting my goal to get first at State,” said Rowe.

A majority of Alaska’s top divers are graduating seniors this year, which means the Mariner dive team will have an advantage next dive season.

“It’s going to be a whole new beginning next year. I have all my divers coming back and they will have another year of experience with them. Next year we will be in the lead group,” said Hall.

Junior Katherine Dolma also represented the Mariner dive team at Bartlett this weekend, taking 16th.  Also a third year diver, this was Dolma’s first appearance at State.

“I didn’t do my best last weekend, but I had a lot of fun and was excited to be there. Next year I hope to make it to finals at State, and to get there I will need to work hard on my reverses as well as center my focus,” said Dolma.

With this season coming to a close, Hall is already in the planning stages for the future. Hall is organizing another dive clinic and possible judging clinic with Steve Voellmecke, U.S. Olympic dive trials and NCAA Diving Championship judge. 

The August clinic will hopefully give the Mariners an extra edge at regional and state competitions.