• Swimmers bring home high-point awards, sportsmanship trophy
By Sean Pearson
All in all, Saturday was a pretty good day for Kachemak Swim Clubbers. The Kings took 58 swimmers to Kenai for the Seward Tsunami Swim Club’s Sprint Championships. Head Coach Rebecca Hardy said it’s one meet the team looks forward to every year.
“This is a very exciting meet,” Hardy said. “A lot of enthusiasm and high expectations came to the water, as this is the last meet before Junior Olympics.”
Spurred by encouragement from a KSC team of cheering, screaming, whistling — and yes, even pom pons — many Kings achieved best times at the meet. The team’s support and enthusiasm earned them the sportsmanship trophy, and a number of swimmers came away with plaques for their first, second and third-place finishes.
Carly Nelson took the high-point award in the girls 8-and-under division. Nelson placed in the 25-yard backstroke, the 25 breaststroke, the 50 freestyle and the 100 individual medley.
“The 100 IM is one of the most challenging events a young swimmer takes on,” Hardy explained. “They must be able to swim all four strokes, legally, and combine that with the transitions between each stroke.”
It’s an impressive accomplishment for anyone, let alone 8-year-olds.
Lucas Story joined Nelson in this accomplishment, finishing the 100 IM in a time of 1 minute, 57.53 seconds. He also placed in the 25 freestyle and 25 breaststroke. Story finished second in high points, right behind teammate Luke Nelson.
In the 9-10 year old girls division, Madison Story took the overall high point award with her strong finishes in the 100 IM, the 50 backstroke, the 50 butterfly and the 50-yard breaststroke.
Theodore Castellani was third in the high-point awards for 11 to 12-year-old boys. Individually, Castellani turned in strong times for the 100 IM, 50 backstroke, 50 butterfly and 50 freestyle. He also swam a leg of both the 200 free relay and 200 medley relay.
Clayton Arndt was the second-highest point-earner in the 13 to 14-year-old boys division. Arndt competed in the 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle and the 50 free. He also swam a leg of the 200 medley relay.
“I am very proud of these swimmers for rising to the challenge,” Coach Hardy said. “It is a praiseworthy achievement!”
And, as with any notable performance for the KSC team, swimmers’ stomachs were also rewarded for their contribution to the team’s success.
Hardy said the day’s accomplishments were “revisited” with the traditional, celebratory meal at Dairy Queen.
Next up for KSC swimmers are the Junior Olympics in Anchorage on April 24-27.
“This is the second-fastest championship meet held in Alaska,” Hardy said. “And we have a team of nine swimmers headed that way.”
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