A high school dive meet in Kenai on Friday was a bit unbalanced with only one Kenai diver and five Homer divers. Still, it was a good opportunity to test the water — or the board — so to speak.
“There was only one other girl (from Kenai) that dove in the meet besides us,” said Mariner Head Coach Harmon Hall.
He explained there are five dive categories in a meet: forward, back, reverse, inward and twister. Multiple dives fit under each category. For example, there’s a forward in a pike position. Increased difficulty adds points to each dive.
At the Kenai meet, points scored for dives completed gave the following results for Homer divers in the boys competition: Ian Hall, 162.7; Ren Carrol, 149.7; Daniel Wiest, 139.9. In the girls competition: Kimberly Bales, 113.6; and Annali Metz, 112.4.
Considering is was the first meet for the Homer divers, with the exception of Ian Hall, Coach Hall summed it up as “not bad for the first meet.”
This Friday, Homer is host to a larger meet at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center with “everybody in our region coming,” said Hall.
of invitations sent to the dive teams from Colony-Wasilla, Palmer, Seward, Kenai, Soldotna, Kodiak, Unalaska, Cordova and Valdez.
This also will be the only time home fans have an opportunity to see the Mariners in action.
“We’re on the road the rest of the season,” said Hall.
Eleven students have turned out for diving this year at Homer High. In addition to the five that competed in Kenai, Mariner divers also include Desiree Cleary, Bryce Donich, Laci King, Charles Rohr, Spencer Warren and Sarah Wolf.
Carroll and Wiest aren’t new to diving, but were sidelined last year by non-dive related injuries. Warren is a freshman who planned to go out for swimming, but ended up on the dive team.
“The pool was shut down for a week so they sent him to me … and he decided to dive, not swim,” said Coach Hall, who sees in his new recruit a diver “that’s got it all. He’s a natural.”
Bales is new to Homer, having just moved here with her family from Texas. Metz was on Homer’s dive team last year, “but never had her dives good enough to anywhere. This year, she does. We concentrated on that during dive camp with all of them,” said Coach Hall.
The Aug. 4-8 dive camp began the season for Homer’s divers, as well as athletes from Kenai and Kodiak. In addition to the benefit it is for the divers, it also is an opportunity for Hall to see what kind of talent is headed to Homer High.
“Three middle school girls form Homer went to the camp and they were pretty impressive. That’s two more girls (for Homer High) next year,” said Hall.
For now, Hall is being assisted in his coaching duties by his wife Pauli and volunteer coach Jaime Sylva.
Next week, the Mariners head to Kodiak.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.