• Boys tie for 10th overall; girls finish 18th
By Sean Pearson
After laying low with consistent fourth- and fifth-place performances all season — including a recent fourth-place finish at last weekend’s Region III Tournament — Homer senior Kaec Brinster rallied to take the gold in the 1-meter diving event at the 2013 Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships in Juneau.
“I am so stoked,” Brinster said Monday. “I honestly was skeptical that I would even make the top three, so first is pretty sweet.”
Brinster won the diving title with a total score of 389.85 points, while teammate Brian Rowe finished fifth with 351.15 points. Kenai’s Cole Gross, who was last weekend’s Region III diving champion, finished second with 371.35.
Brinster’s secret to success?
“I just got really focused and watched a bunch of videos of Greg Louganis before I dived,” he said. “I was super nervous right before I dived, but once I started diving, it went away.”
“Focused” for Brinster might be a little more intense than many of us are used to.
“Before I get on the board to do each dive, I take a few deep breaths, go over the dive in my head and visualize what I need to focus on for that particular dive,” he explained. “Then, I take a few more deep breaths and get up on the board. After that, I’m so focused on visualizing my dive, I sort of go on autopilot.”
Halfway through his approach, Brinster said he stops visualizing and tries to execute the dive exactly how he visualized it.
“Luckily, I was able to do my dives pretty decently during this meet,” he said.
Brinster said the consensus of diving onlookers told him his reverse one-and-a-half was his best dive of the meet. “Right before I did that one, I watched a video of Greg Louganis doing a reverse three-and-a-half or something,” he said. “I just pictured how he did it before I went, and apparently it worked out pretty well.”
Brinster said he somewhat “bummed” that teammate Rowe Brian hadn’t done as well as he could have.
“He should have been up there next to me on the medals stand,” Brinster said.
In girls diving competition, recently crowned Region III diving champion Jasmine Lewis took seventh with 311.10 points. Teammate Katherine Dolma was eighth with 292.95.
Overall, the Lady Mariners finished 18th, while the boys tied with Colony for 10th place.
Mariner James Nagle finished seventh in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing in 54:42. He was three-hundredths of a second behind the sixth-place finisher from Sitka.
State Swimming and Diving Championships
Homer Individual Results
1-meter dive: South HS 315.30; 7. J. Lewis, 311.10; 8. K. Dolma, 292.95.
1 meter-dive: 1. K. Brinster, 389.85; 5. B. Rowe, 351.15.
100 butterfly: 7. J. Nagle, 54.42.
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