Lady M's rewrite record book, punch ticket to State
The Homer Lady Mariners' 200-yard medley relay team made sure it would get remembered at the Region III Swim and Dive Championships this past weekend in Palmer. And deep into the Homer High School athletic history books.
The foursome of Chloe Bechtol, Madison Story, Alia Bales and Ella Blanton-Yourkowski shattered the school's record in the grueling 200-yard medley relay event not once, but twice during the three-day meet and helped carry the Lady Mariners to fourth in the overall team standings. A total of eight teams competed in the girls' meet, which was held Oct. 26-28.
Even more impressive than establishing a new school record, the Lady Mariners also managed to punch their way into the ASAA State Swimming and Diving Championships. The four, who had shattered the previous school mark the day before in the preliminary round, swam their way to a time of 1:54.37 in the race and finished second overall by a narrow margin.
Homer's 200-yard freestyle relay team also qualified for the state meet, which will be held next weekend in Anchorage. The tandem of Bales, Blanton-Yourkowski, Adeline Berry and Story splashed their way to second in the event with a time of 1:41.99. Kodiak, the 2017 Region III champion, edged Homer for the top spot by a just over one-tenth of a second with a mark of 1:41.86.
Annalynn Brown also etched her named into the HHS history books by breaking the school's all-time mark in the 1-meter diving competition. She finished fourth in the overall standings and amassed a record mark of 339.15 points.
Brown's fourth-place finish also landed her one of the Lady Mariners' seven individual berths in the state meet.
In addition to competing in both relays, Story also qualified in the 200-yard individual medley race and the 100-yard breaststroke. She was third in the 200 IM with a time of 2:17.12 and second in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:10.07.
Blanton-Yourkowski and Bales both qualified for state in the 50-yard freestyle race. Blanton-Yourkowski finished fourth in the race, while Bales took fifth.
Bechtol also advanced with a fourth-place finish in the girls' 100-yard backstroke standings with a time of 1:04.42.
As a team. The Lady Mariners rolled up 45 points in the meet.
The Homer boys, who finished seventh in the Region III team standings, had several players punch tickets to the state meet, including Clayton Arndt, Teddy Handley and Jake Nelson.
Arndt advanced to the state meet in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke events. In the freestyle race, he turned in a time of 49.62 seconds. He legged a mark of 56.61 in the backstroke race.
Handley earned a pair of berths in the state meet with an impressive outing. He finished fifth in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:57.13 in the race. He also qualified in the 100-yard butterfly race by taking fifth at 56.70.
Nelson also advanced in the 100-yard butterfly. He was seventh in the event at 57.31.