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Kings sending 5 swimmers to state: After competing in Juneau, five Kayhi students now set their sights on Anchorage
Laura Sherrill, of Ketchikan, swims in the Women's 100 Yard Butterfly preliminary at the Southeast Alaska Regional Swim and Dive Championships at Thunder Mountain High School on Friday. Photos by Michael Penn/Juneau Empire

Daily News Sports Editor

After competing against some of the best swimming and diving talent that Southeast Alaska has to offer, the Ketchikan High School swim and dive team will be sending five students to Anchorage next weekend.

Kayhi swimmers Emma Campbell, Maury Meiresonne, Laura Sherrill, Zoe Spencer and diver Jessi Sivertsen will represent their school in the coming days.

Head coach Patrick Burda said he was proud of his five student-athletes who will be pressing on with their season, in addition to the effort put forth by his team over the previous weekend in Juneau.

Burda said that he was not surprised at who was able to punch their ticket to state, considering how hard they have collectively worked this season.

“Those are not unexpected results,” Burda said. “It will be good for them; they’re right in the middle of the pack going forward next week — they’re not top half or bottom half — they’re going to have to fight.”

The state-bound Kings will spend this shortened week maintaining their end-of-the-season taper, as well as a few preparations to simulate their upcoming race experience.

Kayhi’s group of five will depart for Anchorage later this week, leaving just a couple of days of practice in between the biggest competition of the year.

“We’re not going to be doing anything too crazy,” Burda said. “It won’t be too much — they’ll probably be expecting to not swim as much as they are going to. They still need to be in the water.”

Meiresonne, who finished in first place in the boys 50-yard freestyle swim with a time of 22.87, said he was happy to have finished on top in Juneau.

This will be his second consecutive season in which he has qualified for the state meet; Meiresonne said he wants to improve on his kicking, which he believes to be the weakest aspect of his technique at the moment.

“I’m looking forward to state, honestly,” Meiresonne said. “Just need to work well going off the diving block and do anything I can in the time I have.”

Meiresonne’s teammate and fellow swimmer Laura Sherrill also made it to state a year ago, but said she feels slightly more excited about the prospect of swimming at the highest level this year when compared to last.

“It feels like I accomplished more this year, because it was definitely a lot harder to make it (to state) this year for some reason,” Sherrill said. “It’s going to be awesome.”

Sherrill won the girls 100-yard butterfly race at regions and said that she feels more excited than nervous when thinking about hitting the water this weekend, contrary to her nervousness last weekend in the capital.

Muscle memory has been a catalyst to Sherrill’s success in the water this year. She said her body usually takes over, almost subconsciously righting her form that she once struggled with in practice.

“It will be just like beast mode,” Sherrill said.

Kayhi’s lone diver, Jessi Sivertsen, claimed first place overall in the girls 1-meter diving competition last weekend, posting a mark of 222.0.

It was the first time all season where she was able to go through an array of her different dives, and she did not disappoint — even though she felt as if the odds might have been stacked against her.

“There were more girl divers in the region this year and there was a lot more competition,” Sivertsen said. “The girls I competed against had more complex dives and I was kind of worried that my dives weren’t going to be complex enough.”

Regardless of the perceived complexity of her dives, Sivertsen made it through, and did it better than anyone else in her pool of adversaries.

When thinking ahead to Anchorage, she said that there are a few tweaks here and there that will be made to her dives before she steps onto the board for real.

“I plan on taking (my dives) up a little bit more — so reaching more instead of going out (from the board) to get closer to the board,” Sivertsen said.

Siversten said she really wants to make much cleaner entries into the water this weekend.

Campbell took the eight spot in the girls 200-yard freestyle competition with a final time of 2:12.69.

Spencer finished in seventh place in the girls 500-yard freestyle race at 6:07.20, and will be the only freshman to make the trip to state this year.

Held at the Bartlett Pool in Alaska’s most populous city, the Alaska School Activities Association/First National Bank Swim & Dive State Championships will be the toughest competition Kayhi has seen this year.

Burda feels that his five will stack up considerably well against the competition.

Ideally, he says that he would like to retain some of his swimmers throughout the entire year, which is somewhat of a rarity for the swim scene of Southeast Alaska when compared to the rest of the country and the Lower 48.

“We have a lot of goals that are put up midseason and those goals need to be set around this time of the year and worked on daily in order to achieve them in this sport,” Burda said.

Competition will get started with preliminaries at 1 p.m. on Friday and will pick up the following morning for the conclusion, with finals set to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Individual awards will be presented following the respective events, and team awards will be handed out after the end of the final event.

Results from Juneau

Girls 200-yard medley — 1, Sitka (Davis, W. McArthur, Schwantes, K. McArthur), 1:52.99. 2, JDHS (Tallmon, Norvell, Moran, Mulgrew-Truitt), 1:57.67. 3, TMHS (Heaton, Pajarillo, Matiashowski, Hagen), 1:59.19. 4, Ketchikan (Campbell, Spencer, Sherrill, Meiresonne), 1:59.71.

Boys 200-yard medley — 1, TMHS (Post, Davis, Grigg, Ray), 1:42.62. 2, JDHS (Peimann, Weldon, Goering, Gardinier), 1:45.62. 3, Sitka (Triershield, Diego, Gagner, McKinley), 1:46.88. 4, Ketchikan (Merle, Semaken-Hudson, Thomas, Mattson), 2:11.16.

Girls 200-yard freestyle — 1, Skylar Moore, Sitka, 1:59.44. 2, Grace Harang, Sitka, 2:03.23. 3, Cameron Howard, JDHS, 2:03.29. 4, Peyten Schultz, TMHS, 2:06.35. 5, Mesa Moran, JDHS, 2:08.58. 6, Alyssa Guthrie, Petersburg, 2:11.87. 7, Stella Tallmon, JDHS, 2:12.27. 8, Emma Campbell, Ketchikan, 2:12.69.

Boys 200-yard freestyle — 1, Spencer Holt, TMHS, 1:44.57. 2, Raymie Matiashowski, TMHS, 1:49.56. 3, Tate Goering, JDHS, 1:49.56. 4, McKinley Janik, Sitka, 1:53.12. 5, Micah Grigg, TMHS, 1:53.23. 6, Makai Saline, Sitka, 2:02.41.

Girls 200-yard IM — 1, Jessica Davis, Sitka, 2:13.08. 2, Sophia Schwantes, Sitka, 2:28.08. 3, Taelyn Norvell, JDHS, 2:20.55. 4, Evangelyn Pajarillo, TMHS, 2:21.25. 5, Dessa Gerger, JDHS, 2:32.57. 6, Natalie Zimmerman, JDHS, 2:32.63. 7, Sarah Heaton, TMHS, 2:37.77. 8, Adele Hagevig, JDHS, 2:41.47.

Boys 200-yard IM — 1, Casey Hamilton, TMHS, 1:54.28. 2, Bergen Davis, TMHS, 1:54.40. 3, Jacob Gagner, Sitka, 2:08.05. 4, Anders Marius, Sitka, 2:18.71. 5, Jaret Warstler, Ketchikan, 2:19.11. 6, Xavier de Liedekerke, Ketchikan, 2:44.10. 7, Caden Mattson, Ketchikan, 3:14.93.

Girls 50-yard freestyle — 1, Andyn Mulgrew-Truitt, JDHS, 25.32 2, Whitney McArthur, Sitka, 25.47. 3, Maddy Whitethorn, Petersburg, 26.01. 4, Kyleigh McArthur, Sitka, 26.56. 5, Annie Hagen, TMHS, 26.91. 6, Selma Matiashowski, TMHS, 27.21. 7, Maria Pfundt, Petersburg, 27.63. 8, Rose Pellet, Sitka, 28.18.

Boys 50-yard freestyle — 1, Maury Meiresonne, Ketchikan, 22.87. 2, Britton Erickson, Petersburg, 23.18. 3, Jake Triershield, Sitka, 22.22. 4, Noatak Post, TMHS, 23.82. 5, Rylan Wallace, Petersburg, 24.22. 6, Ethan Kuldt-Painter, Petersburg, 24.45. 7, Reed Gardinier, JDHS, 25.19. 8, Xavier de Liedekerke, Ketchikan, 26.07.

Girls 1-meter diving — 1, Jessi Sivertsen, Ketchikan, 222.0. 2, Amber Kahklen, TMHS, 211.75. 3, Rosemary Kiessling, 202.15.

Boys 1-meter diving —1, Cian Hart, JDHS, 314.10 . 2, Will Torgerson, JDHS, 263.90. 3, Steven Ireland-Haight, JDHS, 209.30.

Girls 100-yard butterfly — 1, Laura Scherrill, Ketchikan, 1:01.49. 2, Sophia Schwantes, Sitka, 1:03.20. 3, Selma Matiashowski, TMHS, 1:04.40. 4, Maria Pfundt, Petersburg, 1:04.69. 5, Evangelyn Pajarillo, TMHS, 1:05.36. 6, Mesa Moran, JDHS, 1:05.90.7, Peyten Schultz, TMHS, 1:06.30. 8, Adele Hagevig, JDHS, 1:17.71.

Boys 100-yard butterfly — 1, Spencer Holt, TMHS, 51.87. 2, Jacob Gagner, Sitka, 57.22. 3, Jacob Warstler, Sitka, 1:02.17. 4, Ethan Thomas, Ketchikan, 1:05.94.

Girls 100-yard freestyle — 1, Andyn Mulgrew-Truitt, JDHS, 56.39. 2, Cyleena Pellett, Sitka, 56.51. 3, Kyleigh McArthur, Sitka, 57.03. 4, Maddy Whitethorn, Petersburg, 57.23. 5, Emily Heaton, TMHS, 58.99. 6, Abby Forrester, Sitka, 1:02.71. 7, Evelyn Staples, Ketchikan, 1:04.31. 8, Claire Schumacher, JDHS, 1:05.19.

Boys 100-yard freestyle — 1, Van Abbott, Petersburg, 49.51. 2, Tate Goering, JDHS, 49.91. 3, Britton Erickson, Petersburg, 50.53. 4, Tyler Weldon, JDHS, 50.91. 5, Jordan Diego, Sitka, 53.31. 6, Bryce Mattson, Ketchikan, 55.17. 7, Sid Fleming, Sitka, 55.93. 8, Reed Gardinier, JDHS, 56.19.

Girls 500-yard freestyle — 1, Grace Harang, Sitka, 5:26.59. 2, Cameron Howard, JDHS, 5:40.23. 3, Hannah Taube, TMHS, 5:42.92. 4, Emma Campbell, Ketchikan, 5:47.28. 5, Natalie Zimmerman, JDHS, 5:47.57. 6, Alyssa Guthrie, Petersburg, 5:59.29. 7, Zoe Spencer, Ketchikan, 6:07.20. 8, Erin Blankenship, Sitka, 6:22.54.

Boys 500-yard freestyle — 1, Raymie Matiashowski, TMHS, 4:54.96. 2, McKinley Janik, Sitka, 4:56.68. 3, Caleb Peimann, JDHS, 5:06.64. 4, Micah Grig, TMHS, 5:06.89. 5, Chris Ray, TMHS, 5:14.72. 6, Makai Saline, Sitka, 5:19.43. 7, Casey Evens, Petersburg, 5:55.84.

Girls 200-yard freestyle relay — 1, Sitka (W. McArthur, Harang, K. McArthur, Moore), 1:42.29. 2, JDHS (Moran, Norvell, Howard, Mulgrew-Truitt). 3, Ketchikan (Sherrill, Campbell, Spencer, Meiresonne), 1:49.54. 4, Petersburg (Pfundt, Lister, Guthrie, Whitethorn), 1:52.97. 5, THMS (Heaton, Godkin, Matiashowski, Taube), 1:53.16.

Boys 200-yard freestyle relay —1, TMHS (Davis, Ray, Hamilton, Holt), 1:29.92. 2, Petersburg (Wallace, Kludt-Painter, Abbott, Erickson), 1:38.08. 3, Ketchikan (Meiresonne, Mattson, Warstler, de Liedekerke), 1:38.08. 4, Sitka (Fleming, Saline, Littlefield, Marius), 1:43.69. 5, JDHS (Gabel, Swanson, Torgerson, Hart), 1:57,63.

Girls 100-yard backstroke — 1, Jessica Davis, Sitka, 59.09. 2, Stella Tallmon, JDHS, 1:06.09. 3, Emily Heaton, TMHS, 1:06.25. 4, Cyleena Pellett, Sitka, 1:06.34. 5, Sunny Tveten, JDHS, 1:08.39. 6, Amara Sanguni, TMHS, 1:10.09. 7, Sarah Heaton, TMHS, 1:11.33. 8, Makayla Moore, Sitka, 1:15.67.

Boys 100-yard backstroke — 1, Casey Hamilton, TMHS, 52.62. 2, Jake Triershield, Sitka, 57.08. 3, Noatak Post, TMHS, 57.39. 4, Caleb Peimann, JDHS, 58.90. 5, Noah Loseby, 59.94. 6, Bryce Mattson, Ketchikan, 1:02.77. 7, August Kiessling, TMHS, 1:02.87. 8, Maury Meiresonne, Ketchikan, 1:03.41.

Girls 100-yard breaststroke — 1, Skylar Moore, Sitka, 1:06.21. 2, Whitney McArthur, Sitka, 1:09.34. 3, Taelyn Norvell, JDHS, 1:13.18. 4, Annie Hagen, TMHS, 1:13..67. 5, Zoe Spencer, Ketchikan, 1:13.76. 6, Laura Sherrill, Ketchikan, 1:14.27. 7, Dessa Gerger, JDHS, 1:16.62. 8, Anne Coss, Ketchikan, 1:40.27.

Girls 400-yard freestyle relay — 1, Sitka (Pellett, Harang, Davis, Moore), 3:46.17. 2, TMHS (Heaton, Schultz, Hagen, Pajarillo), 3:54.94. 3, JDHS (Howard, Tveten, Zimmerman, Tallmon), 4:01.95. 4, Petersburg (Pfundt, Lister, Guthrie, Whitethorn), 4:11.02. 5, Ketchikan (Staples, Sivertsen, Nieshe, Coss), 5:05.87.

Boys 400-yard freestyle relay — 1, TMHS (Hamilton, Matiashowski, Ray, Holt), 3:21.43. 2, Sitka (Gagner, Janik, Diego, Triershield). 3, Petersburg (Wallace, Kludt-Painter, Erickson, Abbott), 3:28.57. 4, JDHS (Weldon, Peimann, Gardinier, Goering), 3:29.75. 5, Ketchikan (Meiresonne, Mattson, Warstler, de Liedekerke), 3:42.21.