Lady M's shatter 3 records at state meet
The Homer Lady Mariners didn't just make a splash at the ASAA State Swimming and Diving Championships this past weekend in Palmer. They made several of them.
En route to becoming the highest-placing small-school team at the event, Homer shattered three school records and raced to a seventh-place finish in a meet that featured some of the larger Class 4A programs in the state. Unlike in other athletic meets, every school competes in the same classification in swimming and diving in Alaska.
Homer rolled up 30 points in the meet, which was held Nov. 3-4.
"We were the smallest school in the top 10 overall," said Homer swim coach Paul Story. "I'm very proud of how our teams did."
It didn't take the Lady Mariners long to begin rewriting the school's history books. Chloe Bechtol, Madison Story, Alia Bales and Ella Blanton-Yourkowski shattered the school record in the 200-yard medley relay right out of the blocks. In the first event of the state meet, the four teamed to post a time of 1 minute, 53.86 seconds.
The time marked the second time in as many weeks the four had broken the school record. They set the previous-best mark a week earlier at the Region III Swimming and Diving Championships.
The Lady Mariners also penciled themselves in as the school's record-holder in the 200-yard freestyle relay race. Bales, along with freshman sensations Blanton-Yourkowski, Adeline Berry and Story, splashed their way to a new record of 1:41.84 - two/tenths of a second faster than their previous best time.
Story also rewrote the school's all-time mark in the 100-yard breaststroke - twice. The 14-year-old initially shattered the school's mark for the event during the preliminaries on Friday. On Saturday, she bettered that mark with a time of 1:08.55.
Story also placed fifth in the girls' 200 individual medley race with a time of 2:13.61.
Annalynn Brown almost added to the Lady Mariners' list of qualifiers for the finals with a solid showing in the 1-meter diving competition. She finished ninth in the preliminaries with a final score of 220.70 - just 22.15 points shy of the eighth, and final, spot in the finals.
Blanton-Yourkowski and Bechtol also did well in their individual events. Blanton-Yourkowski swam to an 11th-place mark in the 50-yard freestyle. Bechtol was 12th in the 100-yard backstroke.
The Homer boys also did well at the state meet. Teddy Handley finished 12th in the prelims of the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.44. Teammate Jake Nelson checked in at No. 16. at 57.86.
Clayton Arndt was 12th in the prelims in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke races.