Lauren Olson competes in the girls’ 100-yard butterfly

Ketchikan High School senior Lauren Olson competes in the girls’ 100-yard butterfly event during the Region V swim and dive preliminary meet on Friday at the Gateway Aquatic Center. Olson advanced to the finals round on Saturday, and placed third, finishing the race in 1:06.47. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

A week before Ketchikan High School was scheduled to host the Region V swim and dive meet, Kayhi’s squad did a test run — giving the First City’s competitors a chance to swim their events, in preparation for the regional championships a week later.

Kayhi freshman Myleigh Sambrano swam the 100-yard freestyle in the time trial — she’d do the same event in the Region V championship finals.

She had no idea she had shaved nearly 10 seconds off her time in the 100-yard freestyle from the start of the season, up to the end.

What was once an event she swam in one minute, nine seconds, Sambrano was finishing in a minute, flat.

“I just remember, we were doing a test-set on Thursday or Wednesday of last week,” Kayhi coach Gary Crowe said. “And she did a time, and her eyes lit up. She was like, ‘I went that fast?’

“Yeah,” Crowe said he replied. “You’re ready to go.”

She wasn’t the only one who was ready to go when Kayhi hosted the Region V meet at the Gateway Aquatic Center this past weekend.

Up and down Kayhi’s roster, the swimmers and divers were at the top of their game.

“We swam really well,” Crowe said after Saturday’s finals event. “We swam almost all best times, which is what you look for in a championship meet.”

Sambrano placed seventh in the girls’ 100-yard freestyle finals event on Saturday, finishing in 1:00.12 — six seconds behind the leader, Olivia Mills, from Thunder Mountain High School.

But the Kayhi freshman cut another half-second off her time between Friday’s preliminaries and Saturday’s finals.

“Myleigh swam really well,” Crowe said.

That statement was a common theme for Crowe’s crew.

“We had some really good swims,” he said. “Lauren (Olson) in the 100 (yard) breaststroke, started the season at 1:19, and she ended at 1:13. So a six-second drop in the 100 is good.

“Her sister, (Olivia Olson), started in the 100 freestyle, at 2:20, and now she went 1:35,” Crowe continued.

Although Olivia Olson — another one of Kayhi’s freshmen swimmers — didn’t make the cut for the Saturday’s finals in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing 20th in Friday’s preliminaries, the 45-second drop in one season impressed her coach.

“They all worked hard all season long, and improved,” he said.

Kayhi hosted teams from across Southeast Alaska for the two-day meet. Squads from Thunder Mountain, Juneau-Douglas, Sitka, Haines, Petersburg, Wrangell and Craig high schools were in town.

“(This year’s) been good,” Crowe said. “The frustrating thing, for me, was we haven’t had any year-round swimmers because of COVID. We did; we just have to start over again. Get some swimmers (going) year-round, so that we can battle with Sitka and Juneau for first place. I’m sure it will come.”

Thunder Mountain’s boys’ and girls’ squads had the highest team scores. The Juneau-Douglas boys’ and girls’ squads placed second.

Kayhi’s boys’ and girls’ squads finished third, and Craig’s teams placed fourth, overall.

“I don’t know who all is going to state yet,” Crowe said afterward. “My guess is (Kayhi) might get two in the 100 (yard) freestyle, one in the 500 (freestyle), and the (4x100) relay at the end, there. And then Lauren in the 100 breaststroke.

“We have to wait for the call from ASAA,” he continued. “We get that on Sunday, sometime.”

However, that call didn’t come on Sunday by press time.

“(We) send the results up to ASAA, and then they put it in their data base, and then they get the times and tabulate the times,” Crowe said. “... In individual events, they only take the top 16. And then they only take the top eight in relays.”

In the boys’ 100-yard freestyle, Kayhi seniors John Bullock and Kyan Klinger both finished in less than 51 seconds.

Bullock placed third, completing the race in 50.77 seconds. Klinger finished fifth, in 50.94 seconds.

Craig’s Ethan Dill won the event, in 49.08 seconds.

Kayhi junior Larry Kuharich placed third in the boys’ 500-yard freestyle, finishing in five minutes, 8.73 seconds.

And the trio — Bullock, Klinger and Kuharich — along with senior partner Alec Lundburg, competed in the boys’ 4x100 medley relay, placing third in three minutes, 31.27 seconds.

Kuharich led off, followed by Lundburg and Klinger. Bullock anchored the event.

“3:31,” Crowe said. “We’ve been doing 3:40, 3:43, something like that, all season long. So that’s a big drop for us. We’ll see how we (do).”

Juneau-Douglas’ team won the event, in three minutes, 20.75 seconds.

“The Juneau guys are really good,” Crowe said.

But Kayhi’s drop in time gives the First City a chance at a foursome advancing to the state meet.

“That was a good shot,” Crowe said. “Hopefully we make it in.”

Divers guaranteed trip to state meet

Two of Kayhi’s divers have punched their ticket to the ASAA swim and dive state meet at Bartlett High School on Nov. 5-6 in Anchorage.

Kayhi junior Emily Bolling and freshman Kellyn Briggs are able to represent the First City on the big stage — in the big pool.

Bolling scored 297.95 points, claiming first place, ahead of Briggs, who scored 253.25 points.

Bolling’s score broke the Gateway Aquatic Center pool diving record, set in 2012 by Kassandra Navales. Navales’ score was 261.60.

“The two top divers go to state, automatically,” Crowe said. “The girl divers have been leading us all season long. They did really well.”

Juneau-Douglas’ Gabby Brown placed third in the girls’ one-meter diving, tallying 208.80 points, and Kayhi’s Ava Elerding scored 115.05 points.

“I’m ecstatic with those results,” Kayhi diving coach Eryn Brooks said of her team’s scores on Saturday. “It was a good meet.”

Indeed, it was for Kayhi’s divers, and part of that could be attributed to physically seeing their competition.

Last year, during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Kayhi’s team competed virtually, and only saw final scores.

“It’s been a really good season,” Brooks said. “It started off a little rocky, but I think that’s mostly because of last year — not being able to travel and compete, so everything was done virtually. And that was rough. This year’s been really good.

“I think it affects (divers) more than swimmers because they don’t get to see what the competition’s doing,” she continued. “They just see a final score. We collaborate really well with coaching — the Juneau coaches and I do. So they don’t get the other tips or tricks, that maybe I don’t see, but the other coaches see. It’s been very helpful to travel and see the other teams. The camaraderie between the divers throughout Southeast is great.”

And the divers have responded with not just high scores — but record-breaking marks.

“We want the best for the kids,” Brooks said. “I might say it differently than the other coaches, or the other coach might say it differently than I do. And then it will click with them. Just a different tactic or approach on (the same message).”

New pool records

Bolling’s new pool record was one of several broken on Saturday — but the only one by a member from Kayhi.

“We had a lot of pool records broken this weekend,” Crowe said. “This is a nice, fast pool.”

There were eight new pool records set during the two-day Region V meet — six during Saturday’s finals, and two during Friday’s preliminaries.

Wrangell’s Renee Roberts set a new girls’ 100-yard freestyle time on Friday, finishing in 54.70 seconds. She beat the record, set by Jessica Davis in 2017, by 15 hundreths of a second.

Juneau-Douglas’ squad for the boys’ 4x50 medley relay set a new record, finishing in one minute, 39.16 seconds. Harrison Holt, Matthew Plang, Chaz VanSlyke and Tytan Frawley beat Sitka’s previous record of one minute, 40.60 seconds, set in 2012.

Juneau-Douglas’ Samantha Schwarting set a new pool record in the girls’ 200-yard freestyle, completing the race in one minute, 57.79 seconds. The previous record, of one minute, 58.54 seconds, was set by Ciera Y. Kelly in 2012.

Schwarting also set a new pool record in the girls’ 500-yard freestyle, finishing in five minutes,18.47 seconds.

Thunder Mountain sophomore Patrick Foy had a successful weekend, setting two new pool records — and now has five Gateway Aquatic Center pool records, after setting three others while visiting Ketchikan during Kayhi’s invitational earlier this season.

He broke the boys’ 200-yard IM pool record during Friday’s preliminaries, finishing in one minute, 55.08 seconds, and set a new boys’ 100-yard breaststroke record on Saturday, finishing in 56.60 seconds.

Foy’s 56.60 in the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke also was a new Region V record.

Foy also holds pool records in the boys’ 200-yard freestyle (1:43.86), boys’ 100-yard butterfly (51.67 seconds) and boys’ 500-yard freestyle (4:49.56).

Thunder Mountain’s Brayden DeTienne-Falls also set a new pool record in the boys’ one-meter diving, scoring 349.95 points.

Results from the Region V finals events, with the top three qualifiers in each race are listed, in addition other finishers from Ketchikan and Craig high schools, are included below.

Region V Swim & Dive Meet Finals

4x50 Medley Relay Girls

1. JDHS (Tahlia Gerger, Emma Fellman, Samantha Schwarting, Pacific Ricke) 1:52.41; 2. TMHS (Caitlin Sander, Jamie Heidersdorf, Nancy Liddle, Olivia Mills) 1:53.29; 3. Craig (Manami Lehman, Taiya Wells, Ada Creighton, Sierra Nelson) 2:01.75; 5. Kayhi (Ava Elerding, Myleigh Sambrano, Lauren Olson, Kristall Bullock) 2:11.69.

4x50 Medley Relay Boys

1. JDHS (Harrison Holt, Matthew Plang, Chaz VanSlyke, Tytan Frawley) 1:36.16*; 2. TMHS (Benson Boudreaux, Karthik Sanguni, Sven Rasmussen, Patrick Foy) 1:39.45; 3. Craig (Wes Mank, Grant Maygren, Ethan Dill, Elias Mank) 1:43.45; 6. Kayhi (Easton Yoder, Trevor Dash, Alec Lundburg, James Connolly) 1:54.96.

200-Yard Freestyle Girls

1. Samantha Schwarting, JDHS, 1:57.79*; 2. Emma Gassman, Sitka, 2:00.13; 3. Pacific Ricke, JDHS, 2:03.35; 7. Emilee Caskey, Kayhi, 2:39.78; 8. Kyla Ashmon, Craig, 2:40.44.

200-Yard Freestyle Boys

1. Tytan Frawley, JDHS, 1:46.79; 2. Harrison Holt, JDHS, 1:48.09; 3. Ethan Dill, Craig, 1:48.93; 6. Larry Kuharich, Kayhi, 1:58.60; 7. Tully Rice, Craig, 2:04.99.

200-Yard IM Girls

1. Emma Fellman, JDHS, 2:16.10; 2. Tahlia Gerger, JDHS, 2:19.47; 3. Gabrielle Anderson, TMHS, 2:25.23; 6. Kaitlyn Kleeman, Kayhi, 3:08.72; 7. Kyleigh McCoy, Craig, 3:40.04.

200-Yard IM Boys

1. Patrick Foy, TMHS, 1:55.35; 2. Chaz VanSlyke, JDHS, 2:00.20; 3. Sven Rasmussen, TMHS, 2:04.14; 5. Alec Lundburg, Kayhi, 2:18.05; 7. Easton Yoder, Kayhi, 2:38.26.

50-Yard Freestyle Girls

1. Olivia Mills, TMHS, 24.96; 2. Renee Roberts, Wrangell, 25.19; 3. Sadie Jenkins, TMHS, 26.11.

50-Yard Freestyle Boys

1. Wes Mank, Craig, 22.54; 2. Aaron Mulgrew-Truitt, JDHS, 22.77; 3. Adrell Mulgrew-Truitt, JDHS, 23.14; 5. John Bullock, Kayhi, 23.30; 7. Elias Mank, Craig, 23.71.

One Meter Diving Girls

1. Emily Bolling, Kayhi, 297.95*; 2. Kellyn Briggs, Kayhi, 253.25; 3. Gabby Brown, JDHS, 208.80; 4. Ava Elerding, Kayhi, 115.05.

One Meter Diving Boys

1. Brayden DeTienne-Falls, TMHS, 349.95*; 2. Stig Cunningham, TMHS, 320.10; 3. Owen Berger, TMHS, 289.45.

100-Yard Butterfly Girls

1. Lucia Chapell, Haines, 1:05.99; 2. Ada Creighton, Craig, 1:06.05; 3. Lauren Olson, Kayhi, 1:06.47.

100-Yard Butterfly Boys

1. Chaz VanSlyke, JDHS, 52.56; 2. Benson Boudreaux, TMHS, 54.20; 3. Sven Rasmussen, TMHS, 55.42; 5. Trevor Dash, Kayhi, 57.03; 7. Alec Lundburg, Kayhi, 1:02.16.

100-Yard Freestyle Girls

1. Olivia Mills, TMHS, 54.75*; 2. Renee Roberts, Wrangell, 54.78; 3. Caitlin Sanders, TMHS, 55.19; 7. Myleigh Sambrano, Kayhi, 1:00.12.

100-Yard Freestyle Boys

1. Ethan Dill, Craig, 49.08; 2. Aaron Mulgrew-Truitt, JDHS, 50.31; 3. John Bullock, Kayhi, 50.77; 5. Kyan Klinger, Kayhi, 50.94.

500-Yard Freestyle Girls

1. Samantha Schwarting, JDHS, 5:18.47*; 2. Pacific Ricke, JDHS, 5:29.82; 3. Nancy Liddle, TMHS, 5:31.83; 6. Kristall Bullock, Kayhi, 7:19.16; 7. Kyleigh McCoy, Craig, 8:49.02.

500-Yard Freestyle Boys

1. Tytan Frawley, JDHS, 4:56.63; 2. Matt Rice, Sitka, 5:03.24; 3. Larry Kuharich, Kayhi, 5:08.73; 5. Tully Rice, Craig, 5:38.94; 6. Ty Woods, Kayhi, 5:59.40; 7. Eli Lundburg, Kayhi, 6:31.97.

4x50 Freestyle Relay Girls

1. TMHS (Sadie Jenkins, Alex Jenkins, Olivia Mills, Caitlin Sanders) 1:42.04; 2. JDHS (Parker Boman, Addy Mallott, Madelyn Boman, Anita Morrison) 1:48.24; 3. Craig (Ada Creighton, Sierra Nelson, Taiya Wells, Manami Lehman) 1:49.11; 6. Kayhi (Tilly Raber, Kaitlyn Kleeman, Emilee Caskey, Marta Schkrohowsky) 2:08.05.

4x50 Freestyle Relay Boys

1. TMHS (Benson Boudreaux, Samson Anderson, Karthik Sanguni, Patrick Foy) 1:31.52; 2. Craig (Ethan Dill, Elias Mank, Grant Maygren, Wes Mank) 1:32.45; 3. JDHS (Adrell Mulgrew-Truitt, Matthew Plang, Chris Degener, Aaron Mulgrew-Truitt) 1:33.40; 4. Kayhi (Kyan Klinger, Trevor Dash, Larry Kuharich, John Bullock) 1:36.40.

100-Yard Backstroke Girls

1. Emma Gassman, Sitka, 1:00.79; 2. Caitlin Sanders, TMHS, 1:01.39; 3. Tahlia Gerger, JDHS, 1:02.28; 4. Manami Lehman, Craig, 1:03.20.

100-Yard Backstroke Boys

1. Wes Mank, Craig, 53.61; 2. Harrison Holt, JDHS, 55.61; 3. Benson Boudreaux, TMHS, 57.99; 4. Grant Maygren, Craig, 1:00.19; 5. Kyan Klinger, Kayhi, 1:00.75; 8. Andrew Hildebrandt, Kayhi, 1:09.66.

100-Yard Breastroke Girls

1. Emma Fellman, JDHS, 1:07.96; 2. Jamie Heidersdorf, TMHS, 1:09.91; 3. Parker Boman, JDHS, 1:10.78; 4. Lauren Olson, Kayhi, 1:13.54; 5. Taiya Wells, Craig, 1:13.73; 8. Sierra Nelson, Craig, 1:21.05.

100-Yard Breaststoke Boys

1. Patrick Foy, TMHS, 56.60!*; 2. Trevor Dash, Kayhi, 1:02.26; 3. Karthik Sanguni, TMHS, 1:02.67; 8. Eli Lundburg, Kayhi, 1:24.58.

4x100 Freestyle Relay Girls

1. JDHS (Samantha Schwarting, Tahlia Gerger, Emma Fellman, Pacific Ricke) 3:49.10; 2. TMHS (Sadie Jenkins, Gabrielle Anderson, Alex Jenkins, Nancy Liddle) 3:55.42; 3. Craig (Ada Creighton, Sierra Nelson, Taiya Wells, Manami Lehman) 4:07.80; 4. Kayhi (Kristall Bullock, Myleigh Sambrano, Ava Elerding, Lauren Olson) 4:21.81.

4x100 Freestyle Relay Boys

1. JDHS (Chaz VanSlyke, Adrell Mulgrew-Truitt, Harrison Holt, Tytan Frawley) 3:20.75; 2. Sitka (Vanya Dubiaha, Brandon Stevens, Jaden Costelo, Matt Rice) 3:30.23; 3. Kayhi (Larry Kuharich, Alec Lundburg, Kyan Klinger, John Bullock) 3:31.27; 5. Craig (Grant Maygren, Tully Rice, Benjamin Dill, Elias Mank) 3:43.92.

Results courtesy of Region V meet officials.

*Denotes a new Gateway Aquatic Center pool record.

! Denotes a new Region V record.