Swim, dive teams stir up the water

More tha n 15 teams representing two regions participated in the combined swim and dive Valley Invite last weekend. Both Mariner swimmers and divers celebrated faster times and better scores during the last meet before Regions in Kenai.

“There was a high level of energy at the valley meet. It’s always fun and we look forward to it.” said Head Swim Coach Rebecca Hardy. “Somehow the meet really works for them. There was a lot of team support.”

Senior and team captain James Nagle was seeded second in the 100 meter butterfly after the preliminary round. According to Hardy, the final swim was “really exciting, and (Nagle) swam really well.” Nagle took first in the finals.

“It was my highlight of the entire season so far. It was such a fun race,” said Nagle. “I was able to beat my friend Nick … He had a ‘fastskin suit’ and I just had my practice suit. The atmosphere with everybody cheering was great.” 

Jordyn Paige, senior, also is team captain and achieved new personal records during the weekend, managing to take four seconds off her 100-meter backstroke.

“It was an absolutely perfect swim,” said Hardy. “It was neat for the board to show what kind of effort she’s been putting in. She keeps working and keeps refining and if something is missing, any little thing, she will diligently work on that until she naturally incorporates it in her swim.”

Hardy also applauded Cheyenne Smith who took second in the finals in the 100 meter breaststroke. Remi Nagle won a best time in his final 100 meter backstroke. His brother Mark Nagle and Greg Smith dropped significant time during their 500 meter freestyle race.

Lukia Martishev celebrated a best time in her 50 freestyle and Thomas Vanek dropped eight seconds in his 200 meter freestyle race. Charlie Sadler shaved six seconds off his 100 meter butterfly time, and in the 100 meter freestyle Cyrus Cowan scored a best time.

Hardy said the team is excited for Regions, which will take place in Kenai Oct. 31.

or Regions in Kenai Oct. 31.

“They’ve got the hardest work ahead of them now,” she said. 

It’s not often calm and collected Dive Coach Harmon Hall describes dive meet results as “unreal.” Homer taking first and second place for girls during the 11-dive Valley Invite this weekend offered an exception.

“It was really cool, we were all really excited.” he said. “They did excellent.”

More than 15 teams participated in the combined swim and dive Valley Invite, with total of 11 girls and 12 boys diving.

Jasmine Lewis had her highest score ever, taking first for girls with a 300.85. Katherine Dolma followed in second place with her personal record score of 259.55.

Brian Rowe placed fourth for boys with 305.40, Kaece Brinster took fifth with 298.60 and Ian Hall secured ninth with 164.50. 

“Right after Kenai are state finals in Juneau,” said Harmon. “It’s hard to predict, but I’m hoping to have five kids going to state. It depends on how we do in Kenai.” 

The dive team has eight practices before Regions in Kenai starting Oct. 31.