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9/23/2013
Tired Kings swim to second place
Kayhi's Chance Rhein swims to second place in the boys 100 breaststroke Saturday at the Gateway Aquatic Center. Staff photo by Hall Anderson


By A.J. JANKOWSKI

Daily News Sports Editor

Out of breath and exhausted from a 500-yard swim, Ketchikan’s Kiera O’Brien had barely propped herself on the gutter for support and flipped off her goggles when she heard a voice call her name.

"Hey Kiera," the voice said from the gutter alongside Lane 1.

She rolled her head to see head coach Chad Winkle smiling back at her.

"Who was right?" asked Winkle, as the first-place time of 5 minutes, 32 seconds blinked next to O’Brien’s lane number on the scoreboard.

"You were," she said mid-exhale.

By the time O’Brien climbed out of the pool, it looked the stiff breeze outside the Gateway Aquatic Center Saturday might blow her over.

Yet Winkle knew the sophomore had just swam through a brick wall.

"We've set some lofty goals for her 500 this year," said Winkle following Kayhi’s quad-meet against Petersburg, Juneau-Douglas and Metlakatla. "We needed to knock through a wall of what she feels like she's capable of doing in a meet. We've knocked through a lot in practice, but it hadn't transitioned to our swims (in a meet) yet."

That is until Saturday afternoon, when O’Brien — despite swimming the 500 on Friday, swimming a two-hour practice Saturday morning and swimming the 200 an hour earlier — won the girls 500 freestyle in 5:32, just five seconds slower than she swam it at last year’s state meet.

Considering O’Brien was in the 5:50s at this point last season, she’s excited — albeit a bit sore — when assessing her progress.

"It hurt," she said of Saturday’s swim. "But (Winkle) does know what he's talking about. I went into it thinking I would not be able to do it, and came out with the time I wanted."

O’Brien and the rest of the Kayhi swimming and diving team competed with sore muscles Saturday, following Friday’s meet and Saturday morning’s mixed practice with Petersburg.

"We did a hard set with (Petersburg) because when you're doing something special like that, you're not just going to float through practice," Winkle said. "The kids worked really hard, so I wasn't quite sure how they'd bounce back."

Turns out, they bounced back just fine.

The Juneau-Douglas girls and Petersburg boys won Saturday’s meet, but the majority of Kayhi swimmers turned in faster times then they started the day with.

"I was expecting a bit of a drop off — which we had a little bit with some kids," Winkle said. "But for the most part, we had some either staying the same or some kids step forward and drop some more time."

Times were dropping in the water, while scores continued to soar off the diving board.

Kayhi’s Kyra Welker and Luke Jones — the only two divers in the meet — each set personal bests this weekend with Welker’s 89.75-point performance on Saturday and Jones’ 126.5 on Friday.

"It was a step in the right direction," Winkle said. "They're progressing rapidly, which is what you want to see."

Jones, a sophomore, was a newcomer to diving last year, but is the veteran of the duo already.

"It's definitely different being in the seniority role," he said. "I just hope to maybe set it up so there's a solid dive program going forward — not just one or two kids."

While Jones didn’t perform as well off the board as he wanted on Saturday — his final two-somersault dive ended with his stomach smacking the water — he took out his frustrations in the pool.

Jones posted the fastest first leg of the boys 200 freestyle relay in 24.72 seconds.

"He wasn't feeling too well after that splash — or smack," Winkle said. "I think he was looking for someone to say, 'Oh, that's OK. Just relax.' But I said, 'Nope. Pick it up on your swims to make up for it.' And he did."

Kayhi’s Ella Sherrill posted another strong day, winning the 50 freestyle in 25.46 before joining with O’Brien, Kaitlyn Tighe and Shaelynn Painter to win the girls 400 freestyle relay in 4:00.38.

The Lady Kings might not have the depth to compete with the Crimson Bears like last year, but that’s not stopping them from reaching for better times with every swim.

That’s why when Winkle told O’Brien after the meet he expects her 500 to be under 5:20 at the state meet, the sophomore gritted her teeth but accepted the challenge.

"I was at that pace this morning during a set of 125s, and it was hard," she said with a laugh. "It's going to be hard."

Girls swimming and diving results

1) Juneau-Douglas, 107 points; 2) Ketchikan, 46; 3) Petersburg, 18.

200 medley relay

1) Juneau-Douglas (Mertz, Taylor-Roth, Kelly, Walsh), 1 minute, 56.09 seconds; 2) Juneau-Douglas, 1:59.26; 3) Juneau-Douglas, 2:05.85; 4) Petersburg, 2:14.77; 5) Ketchikan (Hurley, Bullock, Franulovich, Welker), 2:22.29.

200 freestyle

1) Gabi Kito, JD, 2:05.00; 2) Sophia Kaelke, JD, 2:09.13; 3) Rielly Walsh, JD, 2:10.20; 4) Kiera O’Brien, KTN, 2:10.42; 5) Shania Dahlberg, PBG, 2:14.91; 6) Abigail Taylor-Roth, JD, 2:15.28; 7) Shaelynn Painter, KTN, 2:20.14; 8) Tasha Elizarde, JD, 2:32.76.

200 IM

1) Ciera Kelly, JD, 2:12.12; 2) Mia Ruffin, JD, 2:19.19; 3) Mariah Taylor, PBG, 2:47.59.

50 freestyle

1) Ella Sherrill, KTN, 25.46; 2) Rielly Walsh, JD, 26.70; 3) Izabelle Ith, PBG, 27.07; 4) Bernadette Franulovich, KTN, 27.84; 5) Eliza Chappell, JD, 27.90; 6) Shaelynn Painter, KTN, 28.55; 7) Kaia Hamrick, JD, 29.02; 8) Sarah Mertz, JD, 29.59; 9) Angie Gomez, KTN, 29.93; 10) Helen Thurston, JD, 30.70.

Diving

1) Kyra Welker, KTN, 89.75 points.

100 butterfly

1) Gabi Kito, JD, 1:02.92; 2) Ella Sherrill, KTN, 1:04.80; 3) Abigail Taylor-Roth, JD, 1:08.44; 4) Abigail Taylor, PBG, 1:27.34.

100 freestyle

1) Haley Mertz, JD, 59.15; 2) Dakota Isaak, JD, 1:00.11; 3) Shania Dahlberg, PBG, 1:00.82; 4) Izabelle Ith, PBG, 1:00.94; 5) Eliza Chappell, JD, 1:01.09; 6) Kaia Hamrick, JD, 1:01.71; 7) Addie Gonwa Ramonda, JD, 1:03.71; 8) Alec Lindsay, Metlakatla, 1:10.50; 9) Helen Thurston, JD, 1:10.87; 10)?Allie Hurley, KTN, 1:12.48; 11) Erica Guthrie, MET, 1:15.29; 12) Kristy Dunne, MET, 1:21.13.

500 freestyle

1) Kiera O’Brien, KTN, 5:32.68; 2) Sophia Kaelke, JD, 5:47.88; 3) Kaitlyn Tighe, KTN, 6:07.06; 4) Emma Bullock, KTN, 6:55.39.

200 freestyle relay

1) Juneau-Douglas (Kelly, Isaak, Kito, Ruffin), 1:42.45; 2) Ketchikan (Sherrill, Tighe, Painter, O’Brien), 1:49.74; 3) Juneau-Douglas, 1:52.75; 4) Ketchikan (Bullock, Franulovich, Gomez, Welker), 2:02.24; 5) Juneau-Douglas, 2:08.65.

100 backstroke

1) Haley Mertz, JD, 1:04.91; 2) Mia Ruffin, JD, 1:05.71; 3) Sarah Mertz, JD, 1:09.29; 4) Kaitlyn Tighe, KTN, 1:12.63; 5) Addie Gonwa Ramonda, JD, 1:14.34; 6) Angie Gomez, KTN, 1:14.46; 7) Allie Hurley, KTN, 1:21.33; 8) Erica Guthrie, MET, 1:32.07; 9) Meranda Frenzel, JD, 1:33.53; 10) Kristy Dunne, MET, 1:37.07.

100 breaststroke

1) Ciera Kelly, JD, 1:09.25; 2) Dakota Isaak, JD, 1:09.87; 3) Tasha Elizarde, JD, 1:23.01; 4) Mariah Taylor, PBG, 1:23.96; 5) Emma Bullock, KTN, 1:24.82; 6) Andrea Gordon, JD, 1:35.32; 7) Alec Lindsay, MET, 1:37.97.

400 freestyle relay

1) Ketchikan (O’Brien, Sherrill, Tighe, Painter), 4:00.38; 2) Juneau-Douglas, 4:09.09; 3) Petersburg, 4:24.59; 4) Ketchikan (Franulovich, Gomez, Hurley, Welker), 4:46.26.

Boys swimming and diving results

1) Petersburg, 83 points; 2) Ketchikan, 57; 3) Juneau-Douglas, 27.

200 medley relay

1) Juneau-Douglas (Schumacher, Seid, Blanc, Scranton), 1 minute, 54.19 seconds; 2) Ketchikan (Sherrill, Rhein, Farvour, Jones), 1:56.10; 3) Petersburg, 1:58.09; 4) Petersburg, 2:10.47; 5) Ketchikan (Oswald, Klose, Erickson, Miller), 2:15.70.

200 freestyle

1) Vincent Kowalski, PBG, 1:53.04; 2) Abel Aulbach, PBG, 1:56.76; 3) Caleb Kuikhoven, KTN, 2:00.88; 4) Aidan Seid, JD, 2:02.89; 5) Ian Fleming, PBG, 2:06.17; 6) Will Blanc, JD, 2:06.56; 7) Rian Farvour, KTN, 2:08.30; 8) Chance Rhein, KTN, 2:10.04.

200 IM

1) Skipper Erickson, PBG, 2:20.01; 2) Ben Higgins, PBG, 2:28.23.

50 freestyle

1) Dakota Scranton, JD, 23.55; 2) Corbin McCord, KTN, 23.82; 3) Ben Zarlengo, PBG, 24:53; 4) Zane Welker, KTN, 25:27; 5) Brennen Schulz, KTN, 25.64; 6) Eric Schumacher, JD, 26.19; 7) Elias Antaya, JD, 26.64; 8) Cody Weldon, JD, 27.87; 9) Nick Taylor, KTN, 28.36; 10) Nels Evens, PBG, 29.47; 11) Austin Erickson, KTN, 29.59; 12) Alec Miller, KTN, 30.94; 13) Cade Zwick, KTN, 31.27.

Diving

1) Luke Jones, KTN, 125.85 points.

100 butterfly

1) Evan Marsh, PBG, 59.59; 2) Rian Farvour, KTN, 1:04.82; 3) Zane Welker, KTN, 1:05.71; 4) Logan Hammersland, 1:07.07; 5) Ian Fleming, PBG, 1:07.29; 6) Aidan Seid, JD, 1:09.08; 7) Daniel Klose, KTN, 1:11.31; 8) William Guthrie, MET, 1:11.52; 9) Lukas Oswald, KTN, 1:18.14.

100 freestyle

1) Abel Aulbach, PBG, 50.69; 2) Corbin McCord, KTN, 53.15; 3) Ben Zarlengo, PBG, 54.27; 4) Brennen Schulz, KTN, 56.08; 5) Eric Schumacher, JD, 57.78; 6) Nick Taylor, KTN, 1:03.50; 7) Lukas Marsden, MET, 1:04.32; 8) Aaron Murph, PBG, 1:04.70; 9) Austin Erickson, KTN, 1:07.89; 10) Nico Larson, PBG, 1:10.68; 11) Cade Zwick, KTN, 1:11.34.

500 freestyle

1) Vincent Kowalski, PBG, 5:05.76; 2) Caleb Kuikhoven, KTN, 5:26.31; 3) Nels Evens, PBG, 6:03.41.

200 freestyle relay

1) Petersburg, 1:36.48; 2) Ketchikan (McCord, Kuikhoven, Welker, Schulz), 1:39.89; 3) Juneau-Douglas, 1:41.18; 4) Ketchikan (Jones, Hammersland, Sherrill, Taylor), 1:49.27; 5) Ketchikan (Klose, Oswald, Rhein, Zwick), 1:53.51; 6) Petersburg, 1:56.58.

100 backstroke

1) Skipper Erickson, PBG, 1:04.24; 2) Ben Higgins, PBG, 1:09.39; 3) Will Blanc, JD, 1:09.45; 4) Gerik Sherrill, KTN, 1:09.70; 5) Lukas Oswald, KTN, 1:10.18; 6) Robert Newman, JD, 1:10.63; Alec Miller, KTN, DQ.

100 breaststroke

1) Evan Marsh, PBG, 1:10.94; 2) Chance Rhein, KTN, 1:11.67; 3) Dakota Scranton, JD, 1:13.92; 4) Elias Antaya, JD, 1:14.70; 5) Daniel Klose, KTN, 1:17.26; 6) William Guthrie, MET, 1:21.50; 7) Logan Hammersland, KTN, 1:22.16; 8) Lukas Marsden, MET, 1:39.62.

400 freestyle relay

1) Petersburg, 3:31.41; 2) Ketchikan (Kuikhoven, Welker, Schulz, McCord), 3:42.96; 3) Ketchikan (Farvour, Hammersland, Jones, Sherrill), 3:53.60; 4) Juneau-Douglas, 3:57.20; 5) Ketchikan (Zwick, Taylor, Miller, Erickson), 4:35.46.