Story last updated at 1:09 p.m. Thursday, September 19, 2002

Homer swims off with tri-meet
by Chris Bernard
Staff Writer

The Homer High School boys and girls swim teams swept a home meet Saturday with easy wins over Skyview and Cordova.

"Both Skyview and Cordova are young teams, really novice programs, so this meet was a good chance for us to test ourselves against our own times," said Coach Bridget Kuhns. "It was a good opportunity for us to test our relays, and to pull together the things we want to do with the rest of the season."

Kuhns said her swimmers are right about where she'd like them to be as they enter the most difficult portion of the season.

"We're going to be swimming more tired than we have been, but we're ready for it, we're training hard and we're excited."

Saturday's home meet came on the heels of a late night in Kenai, where the boys took first and the girls second. The home meet was delayed until 1 p.m. to give the three teams a chance to recover before hitting the water again, but the Mariners took advantage of the time to train.

"We hit the pool as a team Saturday before the meet began, and it was a very successful day for us," Kuhns said, "both as a training opportunity and as a meet."

For Homer, Jake Bell and Daryl Wythe took a first and second in the 100-fly, finishing 58.44 and 1:03.02.

In the 100-free, teammates Kevin Wythe and Evan Smith finished first and second just over one second apart, 52.08 and 53.25, respectively. And in the 500-free, Bell finished first in 5:52.62, Andrew Vait finished second in 5:30.15 and Cordova's Sean Beecher finished third in 5:43.79.

Jamey Smith took first in the 100-back, and teammate Travis Riley took second, 1:05.57 to 1:06.52, and Ben Kuhns and Kevin Wythe took first and second in the 100-breast, 1:09.30 to 1:10.94.

In the 200-free relay, Homer's Kevin Wythe, Riley, Smith and Vait beat Cordova's best team 1:38.93 to 1:45.89.

For the girls, Renae Rykaczewski went 5:55.74 for first in the 500-free, solidly beating Skyview's Ashley Risch's 6:12.62, and Homer's Britta Baechler took third in 6:44.33.

Homer's Katelyn Wythe won a first-place medal going 1:00.36 in the 100-free, and in the 100-breast, Rhonwen Jennings won in 1:19.80.

In the 100-back, Rhiannon Jennings won in 1:11.02, beating Skyview's Jackie Rainwater (1:14.89) and Homer's Ellie Matkin (1:21.17).

Relay teams also did well, with Melissa Malcolm, Rhonwen Jennings, Wythe and Deannie Andree finishing first in 1:56.67 in the 200-free. They were followed by a Skyview team in 1:59.53, and Mariners Jenna Grady, Charity Williams, Lilly Lane and Danielle Wythe took third in 2:05.29.

The Homer teams compete next when they head to Soldotna Friday for the Penthalon, a series of sprint races.

Chris Bernard can be reached at