With both their cross-country and swim and dive teams in town for meets, Kodiak High School was well represented over the weekend on the central Kenai Peninsula.
Friday afternoon at the Soldotna High pool, the Bears running team — a program rich in talent and success that was in town for the Region III meet — got to see one of their own thrill the crowd in the water at the 35th annual SoHi Pentathlon, and with the kind of star power watching over him, Kodiak’s Talon Lindquist made it count.
“We want to give them a show,” Lindquist said.
A show is exactly what the Kodiak junior gave them. Lindquist dominated the pool in record-breaking fashion with a total time of 2 minutes, 29.40 seconds, over the four-hour meet.
The pentathlon, a popular five-race event that prep swimmers often gush about as their favorite event of the year, combines the times of five races to produce a grand champion; the 100-yard IM, the 50-yard butterfly, the 50 backstroke, the 50 breaststroke and the 50 freestyle.
Perhaps the cross-country team that has won so many region and state champions helped fuel Lindquist to beat current SoHi coach Lucas Petersen’s old record, a 2:31.41 that had stood since 2000.
“I swim faster at these kinds of meets,” he said. “They were cheering us on, I heard them.”
Lindquist also erased three of the five records for each individual event, coming up short in the butterfly and breaststroke. Petersen owned two of them, until Friday. The coach hangs on to the butterfly record.
So how does Petersen, now in his fifth year behind the helm of the Stars swim program, feel about his 16-year-old record going down?
“It’s been awhile, but it’s fun to see the success of someone who works really hard,” Petersen said. “I’ve seen him coming for a while.
“I wish a SoHi kid could’ve gotten it, but I wish him the best.”
The closest a Soldotna swimmer came to Lindquist Friday was senior Cody Watkins, who finished third with a time of 2:38.83, just half a second behind runner-up Jake Simmons of Colony. Watkins took second-place finishes in the 50 fly and 50 free, and tied for second with Simmons in the 50 breaststroke, but like the rest of the competition, continued to fall farther and farther behind Lindquist with each passing race.
“He’s one of a kind,” Watkins said. “I was just going for second.”
A Kodiak swimmer also claimed supremacy in the girls race. Junior Marina Cummiskey defended her title with a time of 3:03.29, beating out Colony’s Camille Dayton, who finished 2.56 seconds behind. Homer’s Lauren Kuhns finished third, 3.47 seconds adrift.
Lindquist’s victory was his third straight pentathlon crown, while it was the second consecutive for Cummisky.
“I was pretty nervous when I came in, because I haven’t swam against Camille and Lauren this year,” Cummisky said. “So there was no strategy involved, it was just go all out for me.”
Unlike Lindquist, Cummisky did not sweep the five races, but a fast start put her well on her way to the victory. Cummisky won the first three races before finishing fifth in the breaststroke and second in the free.
“The breaststroke is my weakest race, I don’t train for it and I never swim it much,” she said. “That pushed me more to build up a big gap in the first three races.”
Cummisky won the 100 IM in 1:04.56, edging out Dayton by two-hundredths of a second of a second, then added a quarter-second with her win in the 50 fly to make the gap .27 seconds.
A big victory in the backstroke — Cummisky was the only racer to dip under 30 seconds with a 28.93 — piled on 1.67 seconds to her lead, which held the rest of the way.
Ninth-place overall finisher Madeline Vig of Colony won the 50 breaststroke and fourth-place finisher Gretchen Snelders of Palmer won the 50 free.
In the boys events, Lindquist started off with a 52.58 victory in the 100 IM — 3.24 seconds faster than anyone else — then pushed the gap to 4.27 seconds after the butterfly, 6.33 after the backstroke, 7.82 after the breaststroke and finished off with a win in the 50 free to grab the crown by an 8.96-second margin of victory.
“I felt great from the start,” Lindquist said. “I got that first record in the IM, and it kept me going.”
Savaii Heaven led the Kenai boys contingent with a 10th-place finish, 24.68 seconds behind Lindquist.
In the girls race, SoHi’s Portia Padilla led the Stars in fifth, 3.42 seconds behind Cummiskey, and she had company with Stars teammate Sydney Juliussen just a tenth of a second behind her in sixth. JessiAnna McDonald was the top Kenai girls swimmer in 22nd and 23.76 seconds behind the winner.
35th SoHi Pentathlon
Friday at Soldotna High pool
Top 3 Team scores — Kodiak, 62 points; 2. Soldotna, 39; 3. Colony, 22.
Individual — 1. Talon Lindquist, Kod, 2:29.40; 2. Jake Simmons, Col, 2:38.36; 3. Cody Watkins, Sol, 2:38.83; 4. Max Snelders, Pal, 2:41.72; 5. Nathan Schauff, Kod, 2:43.28; 6. Luke James, Kod, 2:46.90; 7. Jacob Creglow, Sol, 2:47.48; 8. Jacob Hall, Sol, 2:48.85; 9. Dan Lambert, Kod, 2:53.31; 10. Savaii Heaven, Ken, 2:54.08.
Other Peninsula swimmers — 11. Hunter Reese, Ken, 2:54.33; 16. Connor Spanos, Sew, 2:58.73; 20. Teddy Handley, Hom, 3:04.25; 24. Trevor Bagley, Ken, 3:06.90; 28. Kylin Welch, Sol, 3:11.90; 32. Zion Alioto, Ken, 3:12.54; 35. Will Gross, Sol, 3:14.40; 37. Theodore Castellani, Hom, 3:15.41; 39. Jakob Nelson, Hom, 3:15.92; 42. Kane Graham, Hom, 3:18.62; 46. Chase Keating, Ken, 3:28.01; 49. Ian Reger, Sol, 3:31.84; 60. Gideon Hutchison, Sol, 4:08.01; 61. Trapper Allen, Sew, 4:14.23; 62. Hyram Dory, Hom, 4:21.99.
Top 3 Team scores — 1. Colony, 45 points; 2. Soldotna, 38; 3. Kodiak, 30.
Individual — 1. Marina Cummiskey, Kod, 3:03.29; 2. Camille Dayton, Col, 3:05.85; 3. Lauren Kuhns, Hom, 3:06.76; 4. Gretchen Snelders, Pal, 3:07.47; 5. Portia Padilla, Sol, 3:11.71; 6. Sydney Juliussen, Sol, 3:11.81; 7. Alexis Mattson, Col, 3:13.70; 8. Ashtyn Peterson, Pal, 3:15.71; 9. Madeline Vig, Col, 3:16.16; 10. Hannah Glover, Kod, 3:16.53.
Other Peninsula swimmers — 12. Darby McMillan, Sol, 3:21.40; 13. Madelyn Brennan, Sol, 3:22.25; 15. Katie Creglow, Sol, 3:22.91; 19. Alia Bales, Hom, 3:26.23; 22. JessiAnna McDonald, Ken, 3:27.05; 24. Alex Juliussen, Sol, 3:27.58; 25. Faith Ivy, Ken, 3:28.09; 30. Mikaela Pitsch, Ken, 3:30.77; 32. Rachel Davidson, Sol, 3:31.83; 37. Ryann Cannava, Sol, 3:35.74; 39. Kortney Birch, Sol, 3:38.63; 46. Kayla Raemaeker, Sol, 3:43.95; 47. Iris Downey, Hom, 3:47.24; 49. Rachel Spence, Sol, 3:53.16; 52. Elena Hamner, Sew, 3:57.21; 55. Arin Reger, Sol, 4:00.23; 56. Kendra Hall, Sol, 4:01.35; 59. Megan Koster, Sew, 4:07.32; 63. Mickinzie Ticknor, Ken, 4:18.38; 64. Louise Delmas, Hom, 4:25.00; 65. Hope Quinn, Sew, 4:29.53; 67. Katherine Connor, Sol, 4:36.39; 73. Brittany Gilman, Ken, 5:00.34.