• Lady Mariner Jasmine Lewis takes first in dive competition
By Sean Pearson
Some 300 swimmers and divers flooded Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center over the weekend, gathering for Homer’s annual invitational swim and dive meet on Friday and Saturday.
Kodiak swimmers again dominated the swim competition, but it was all Homer when the divers stepped up to the board.
Lady Mariners Jasmine Lewis and Katherine Dolma topped the girls’ dive competition. Lewis took first with 181 points, while Dolma was second with 170.15 points.
“I’m really proud of my performance,” Lewis said. “There are a couple of things I need to fix before my next meet — like upping my degree of difficulty — but overall I was pleased.”
Lewis said she is quite optimistic about the team’s potential this year.
On the boys’ side of the diving competition, senior Brian Rowe placed second, less than three points behind Kenai’s Bill Ashwell. Kaec Brinster finished third with 176.65 points.
“It’s great to be diving again, and I am really happy with my dives,” Rowe said. “It was probably one of my best meets.”
Brinster felt he definitely could have done better, but was content — considering it was the first meet of the season.
“I just need to work on some minor aspects of my dives and try to get in a better mindset for the next meet,” he said.
Swimmer Cheyanne Smith led the way for the Lady M’s, taking fifth in the 200 individual medley. She also placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke, finishing just .04 seconds behind Palmer’s Millie Snelders.
“The meet was a total success,” Smith said. “I have been out of the water for about eight months, so it was awesome to see where I was with my personal times.”
Smith credited much of her success to the support of coaches and teammates.
“We have an incredible team this year that is devoted to success,” Smith said. “Our coaches do a great job of keeping everything together.”
Lauren Kuhns placed seventh in the 500 freestyle.
In boys’ action, the Nagle brothers once again picked up the lion’s share of Homer’s points. Mark Nagle placed third in the 500 freestyle, finishing less than a second behind Kodiak’s River Hanson. Hanson also edged Nagle in the 200 free; this time by less than half a second.
“I’m going to start working on my pace a lot more,” Nagle said of his distance swims. “I try to get a beat in my head — like a song with a loud beat — and do a stroke for every beat.”
Nagle’s twin brother James also turned in some good times. He finished second in the 100 butterfly, less than half a second behind Kodiak’s Nicholas Lincoln.
James said he plans to continue to push himself, and put his best efforts into swimming and working out.
“We have a lot of good swimmers with a lot of potential,” he said. “I hope everyone gets their goal by the end of the season, but — most importantly — I hope they all have fun doing it.”
Mark Nagle said he was also really looking forward to the season and a concentrated effort toward going to state.
“We all know going to state is not easy and that it takes lots of discipline and training,” he said. “But I know my team well and have faith in them all.
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