Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna High School's Cody Watkins swims during the 100-yard freestyle competition during the Region III swimming and diving meet Saturday November 1, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna High School's Cody Watkins swims during the 100-yard freestyle competition during the Region III swimming and diving meet Saturday November 1, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Kodiak dominates Region III swim meet

Saturday’s Region III swimming and diving championship meet was a fabulous one for the Kodiak Bears.

Held at the Soldotna High School pool, both of Kodiak’s boys and girls squads won region team titles. The boys accrued 107 points to beat runner-up Soldotna by 39 points, and the girls took the title easily with 131 points, 63 better than second-place Colony, which edged third-place Soldotna by three points.

The Kodiak girls have won eight straight region titles, while the Bears boys have six straight titles.

Additionally, six region records were broken, all by Kodiak swimmers, and four of those new standards were set by the brother-sister duo of Talon and Tahna Lindquist.

Both Lindquist siblings broke two region records (Talon in the boys 200-yard IM and 100 backstroke; Tahna in the girls 200 IM and 500 freestyle), while the other two new marks were taken by Kodiak senior Ila Hughes in the girls 50 freestyle, and the Kodiak boys 200 medley relay team.

Both Lindquist’s were named Region III swimmer of the year for boys and girls. Colony’s Will Hernandez was named coach of the year.

In the girls 200 IM, Lindquist’s time of 2 minutes, 4.61 seconds, bettered her own time of 2:05.33 that she set in 2013.

“I knew I had to take it out pretty fast, and basically give it all I got,” Tahna said. “Last year was one of my best times, and (now) I’m preparing for state.”

Lindquist said the first two legs of her IM — the butterfly and backstroke segments — made the difference. She had swam the breaststroke leg of the girls 200 medley relay earlier in the day and said she was still feeling the effects of that race.

Later, in the girls 500 freestyle, Lindquist started slow but finished strong to establish a new mark of 4:56.56, the first Region III girl to dip under five minutes in the event. Lindquist’s time was so fast that it beat out the boys winner, Colony’s Zach Bloom, who won with a time of 4:58.66.

Lindquist said the distance event is really not as difficult as it may seem.

“I like it a lot because it’s a controlled sprint,” she said. “There’s a lot of thinking involved.”

Lindquist said she breaks the race down by each 100-yard segment. She said she likes to swim the opening 100 fast, then slip into a steady rhythm for the middle 300 yards, then finish strong in the final 100.

“My goal was to break the region record and get under five minutes,” Lindquist said.

Her freshman brother, Talon, became the woe of the host team Soldotna, as he managed to wipe out two former region records previously held by a Stars athlete.

Talon’s first record swim of the day — the boys 200 IM — wiped out a 20-year old record that former Soldotna swimmer Kirk Hollingsworth held. Hollingsworth’s 1994 mark of 1:57.69 was shattered by Lindquist’s time of 1:54.46.

Lindquist said he and his coach had discussed going under 1:55 before the race, but also talked about racing relaxed enough to continue in the day’s other events.

“I just put together an awesome swim,” Lindquist said.

Lindquist’s new standard wasn’t the only Hollingsworth mark he broke Saturday. In the boys 100 backstroke event, Lindquist’s winning time of 52.52 seconds erased the 53.70 that Hollingsworth put up in 1994. In fact, the old mark was dropped to third all-time on the Region III list, as Lindquist’s teammate Nicholas Lincoln finished second with a time of 53.52 seconds.

“My coach said to just go and race, and have fun,” he said. “We had four Kodiak Bears in there, right by my side, so it was all fun.”

Lindquist said the competition between him and his sister only fuels the desire to win and swim faster than ever.

“I like it when she goes first, it sets the tone,” Talon said. “It means that I have to go and break the record.”

As a part of the medley relay, Talon actually took part in three new region marks, as the Kodiak boys won with a time of 1:37.68, clearing their own year-old record of 1:40.27.

In the girls 400-yard freestyle relay, Soldotna finished second to Kodiak by less than a second, but still broke the SoHi school record, set in 2003 by Eve Green, Adrienne Marey, Abby Kiffmeyer and Karina Petersen. Saturday’s relay was comprised of Megan English, Rachel Davidson, Portia Padilla and Alex Weeks.

On the individual level, senior Megan English swept her events, winning the girls 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke.

“It feels great going to state,” English said. “The backstroke meant the most to me, it’s my favorite, so it meant a lot to get the win in that.”

English — a previous state qualifier — said after experiencing problems in Friday’s preliminaries, the seeding for Saturday’s butterfly final had her competing in a lane different than what she is used to. However, that did not faze her.

“I came in as the top seed, but I think I was just dehydrated during prelims,” English said.

Senior Alex Weeks finished second in both girls freestyle sprints — the 50 free and the 100 free — to Kodiak’s Ila Hughes. Hughes beat Weeks in the 50 free with a Region III record time of 23.58 seconds. Weeks still managed to beat her own Soldotna school record of 24.19, posting a new standard of 24.03.

SoHi junior David Hall led the SoHi boys with a win in the 50 free and a second in the 100 free. Hall’s teammate Cody Watkins took second behind Hall in the 50 free, but only by a tenth of a second.

“All of last year, Cody was faster than me,” Hall said. “He pushes me a lot more than anyone else. Next to coach Lucas, he definitely pushes me the most, and he always wants me to do better as long as I want him to do better.”

Competing in his first season of high school swimming, Hall said making the cut to state is very rewarding. After making the move with his family from King Salmon — where there is no high school team — Hall has finally gotten the chance to compete at the high school level.

“It was just a lot of motivation,” Hall said. “I’ve done club swimming since I was a little kid, but state’s a whole new level, there’ll be people there way better than me.”

Mikaela Pitsch led the Kenai Central girls team to a fifth-place finish in the team standings, grabbing a podium result in the girls 1-meter diving event with 280.5 points, good for third place.

The Kenai girls also finished strong with a third-place result in the 400-yard freestyle relay, edging out Wasilla by .78 seconds. The group was comprised of Celestina Castro, Makai-Lynn Smith, Pitsch and Kirsten Nyquist.

The Kenai boys finished eighth in the team standings, led by Jacob Dye’s fifth-place result in the 200 free.

Region III Championships

Friday-Saturday, Soldotna

Girls team results

1. Kodiak 107; 2. Soldotna 68; 3. Colony 50; 4. Valdez 28; 5. Kenai 25; 6. Palmer 22; 7. Homer 13; 8. Wasilla 12; 9. Seward 2. 

Girls individual results

200 medley relay — 1. Kodiak 1:52.66; 2. Soldotna 1:55.07; 3. Colony 1:59.15; 4. Valdez 1:59.95; 5. Palmer 2:00.27; 6. Homer 2:05.21.

200 freestyle — 1. M. Cummiskey, Kod 1:59.71; 2. B. Horne, Kod 2:06.85; 3. S. Hanson, Pal 2:07.19; 4. L. Kuhns, Hom 2:07.80; 5. C. Castro, 2:08.68; 6. C. Dayton, Col 2:08.92.

200 IM — 1. T. Lindquist, Kod 2:04.61; 2. R. Kreigh, Kod 2:26.17; 3. S. Belliston, Was 2:30.62; 4. P. Padilla, Sol 2:32.32; 5. A. Phillips, Was 2:38.86; 6. E. Venema, Pal 2:40.83.

50 freestyle — 1. I. Hughes, Kod 23.58; 2. A. Weeks, Sol 24.03; 3. M. Snelders, Pal 25.77; 4. R. Crosley, Col 26.16; 5. H. Glover, Kod 26.88; 6. C. Smith, Hom 27.00; 6. (tie) A. Shadle, Hom 27.00.

1 meter dive — 1. T. Heiberg, Kod 358.00; 2. K. Foster, Col 300.90; 3. M. Pitsch, Ken 280.50; 4. S. Laselle, Pal 266.50; 5. E. Cyr, Col 256.20; 6. Z. Metz, Hom 233.65.

100 butterfly — 1. M. English, Sol 1:01.89; 2. R. McNelly, Val 1:02.48; 3. R. Kreigh, Kod 1:03.65; 4. C. Castro, Ken 1:05.48; 5. E. Doyel, Val 1:07.73.

100 freestyle — 1 I. Hughes, Kod 51.51; 2. A. Weeks, Sol 52.71; 3. M. Cumminsky, Kod 56.00; 4. R. Crosley, Col 57.01; 5. S. Hamner, Sew 58.36; 6. R. Davidson, Sol 59.04.

500 freestyle — 1. T. Lindquist, Kod 4:56.56; 2. S. Kinworthy, Col 5:13.28; 3. R. Henry, Sol 5:26.24; 4. B. Horne, Kod 5:40.44; 5. L. Kuhns, Hom 5:49.05; 6. S. Hanson, Pal 5:58.40.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Kodiak 1:44.82; 2. Colony 1:46.74; 3. Valdez 1:48.49; 4. Kenai 1:49.13; 5. Homer 1:49.28; 6. Soldonta 1:49.73.

100 backstroke — 1. M. English, Sol 1:01.01; 2. S. Kinworthy, Col 1:01.51; 3. P. Padilla, Sol 1:05.80; 4. R. Davidson, Sol 1:06.40; 5. C. Dayton, Col 1:08.66; 6. M. Maffe, Col 1:09.06.

100 breaststroke — 1. R. McNelly, Val 1:11.01; 2. M. Snelders, Pal 1:12.00; 3. R. Henry, Sol 1:12.22; 4. C. McElroy, Sol 1:14.55; 5. K. Nyquist, Ken 1:15.83; 6. A. Sullivan, Col 1:16.01.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Kodiak 3:44.02; 2. Soldotna 3:44.69; 3. Kenai 4:09.10; 4. Wasilla 4:09.88; 5. Colony 4:12.36.

Boys team results

1. Kodiak 131; 2. Colony 68; 3. Soldotna 65; 4. Wasilla 15; 4. (tie) Valdez 15; 4. (tie) Homer 15; 7. Palmer 13; 8. Kenai 3; 9. Unalaska 1.

Boys individual results

200 medley relay — 1. Kodiak 1:37.68; 2. Colony 1:41.19; 3. Valdez 1:54.44; 4. Soldotna 1:56.27; 5. Wasilla 1:57.23; 6. Palmer 1:57.73.

200 freestyle — 1. Z. Bloom, Col 1:47.27; 2. B. James, Kod 1:49.57; 3. J. Hall, Sol 1:51.25; 4. D. Lambert, Kod 1:55.40; 5. J. Dye, Ken 1:58.78; 6. D. Smith, Kod 1:59.70.

200 IM — 1. T. Lindquist, Kod 1:54.46; 2. J. Simmons, Col 2:02.03; 3. J. Anderson, Col 2:03.16; 4. J. Creglow, Sol 2:05.66; 5. B. Anderson, Kod 2:09.65; 6. M. Linscheid, Kod 2:15.97.

50 freestyle — 1. D. Hall, Sol 22.23; 2. C. Watkins, Sol 22.33; 3. N. Schauff, Kod 22.95; 4. J. Anderson, Kod 22.96; 5. R. Nagle, Hom 23.50; 6. M. Mutch, Kod 23.72.

1 meter dive — 1. B. Schachle, Was 407.85; 2. C. Lord, Col 372.35; 3. R. Ulatan, Kod 361.85; 4. G. Waldhaus, Pal 355.65; 5. I. Hall, Hom 341.10; 6. T. Belliston, Col 330.80.

100 butterfly — 1. J. Simmons, Col 54.34; 2. C. Watkins, Sol 54.64; 3. J. Anderson, Kod 55.23; 4. R. Nagle, Hom 56.22; 5. B. Anderson, Kod 59.80; 6. C. Gossett, Col 1:03.20.

100 freestyle — 1. D. Schauff, Kod 48.13; 2. D. Hall, Sol 49.09; 3. N. Lincoln, Kod 49.32; 4. N. Schauff, Kod 50.29; 5. L. James, Kod 51.59; 6. J. Dye, Ken 51.71.

500 freestyle — 1. Z. Bloom, Col 4:58.66; 2. J. Hall, Sol 5:09.60; 3. D. Lambert, Kod 5:10.11; 4. D. Smith, Kod 5:14.99; 5. M. Linscheid, Kod 5:26.46; 6. C. Jim, Pal 5:37.17.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Kodiak 1:29.97; 2. Soldonta 1:31.13; 3. Homer 1:38.10; 4. Colony 1:41.20; 5. Palmer 1:41.88.

100 backstroke — 1. T. Lindquist, Kod 52.52; 2. N. Lincoln, Kod 53.52; 3. D. Schauff, Kod 54.21; 4. M. Snelders, Pal 1:00.28; 5. Z. Leithead, Kod 1:00.50; 6. C. Cummins, Val 1:01.62.

100 breaststoke — 1. J. Anderson, Col 1:01.44; 2. J. Creglow, Sol 1:01.55; 3. B. James, Kod 1:01.96; 4. L. James, Kod 1:04.86; 5. M. Mutch, Kod 1:07.67; 6. L. Howard, Una 1:09.28.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Kodiak 3:18.52; 2. Soldotna 3:19.78; 3. Colony 3:23.42; 4. Valdez 3:50.71; 5. Wasilla 4:00.03.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Kenai's Celestina Castro swims during the 100-yard butterfly competition at the Region III swimming and diving competition Saturday November 1, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Kenai’s Celestina Castro swims during the 100-yard butterfly competition at the Region III swimming and diving competition Saturday November 1, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

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