Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 2:42 PM on Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Homer swimmers, divers establish strengths in first splash of season

Lindsay Johnson
Staff writer


Photographer: Lindsay Johnson, Homer News

Mark Nagle swims the 100-yard butteterfly last Saturday during the Homer Five Way meet in the Mariner home pool.

With last Saturday's meet as a measure, Homer swimming and diving is set for an exciting, successful season.

The Mariners stood solidly in second place at the Homer Five Way meet at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center. Mariner boys earned 109 points, Soldotna 145 and Kenai Central 47. Homer girls earned 94, ahead of Soldotna's 80 but behind Kenai's 128.

More than 20 swimmers and 13 divers make up the 2011 Homer High aquatics squad. Anna Borland-Ivy returns as the Mariners' head swim coach, assisted by Rebecca Hardy, and Harmon Hall continues to lead the dive program.

The swimming boys A-relay team started strong with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. RJ Ginter, Kyle Wentz, Nathaneal Hardy and James Reid swam to a combined time of one minute, 51.46 seconds. They took second in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:36.28.

Homer's girls A-relay team took a close third in the medley relay. Marie Schmidt, Emily Schmidt, Dana Olesch and Katie Schmidt came in at 2:08.96, just over a second behind Soldotna and Kenai.

Another team, composed of Olesch, Lydia Arndt, Cheyanne Smith and M. Schmidt, won the girls 400-free relay in 4:23.32.

Individually, M. Scmidt swam to a solid first-place finish in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:07.68. She took second in the 500 freestyle in 5:38.67.

Shortly after breaking two pairs of goggles, Olesch won the 100 butterfly, also by more than two seconds, in 1:05.66. Lukia Martishev earned a point for the team with her first-time entry and sixth-place finish in that event. Olesch won the 100 backstroke in more than six seconds. Taylor Iredale took third in the 100 back and K. Schmidt took fifth.

E. Schmidt and Smith claimed top finishes in the 100 breaststroke.

Ginter won the boys 100 backstroke in 1:06.34. Freshman Thomas Vanek took sixth in that event.

Brothers James Nagle and Mark Nagle dominated an exciting 500 freestyle race. J. Nagle won it in 5:45.36 and M. Nagle finished second in 5:46.22.

Homer divers cleaned up with first place finishes in both boys and girls and three other team point-earning performances. Lindsey Seneff earned 211.05 points while Garrett Hall earned 212.10. Katherine Dolma added three points to the team score and Sophie Ogle two. Brian Rowe added three points to the boys team and freshman Kenneth Schneider also dove.

The Ms will host the conference-wide Homer Invite Sept. 9 and 10 . Diving prelims will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9, with dive finals and swim races throughout the day Sept. 10.

Though Homer doesn't have the biggest team, it looks like local athletes will have a competitive season.

"We have a lot of really dedicated swimmers so I think we'll be able to do pretty well," Olesch said.

Mariner coaches agree.

"Those kids are really setting their goals and moving forward," Borland-Ivy said.

"It's going to be an exciting season, for sure," Hall said.

The Mariners will race and help run the annual Ironman Triathlon Saturday. The 1,000-yard swim, 15-mile bike and 5-mile running event starts at 8 a.m. at the pool and is open to the community.