Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 6:46 PM on Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ginter strokes to gold at State

Mariner boys place 3rd in swimming, diving championships; girls take 10th

By Mike Nesper
For the Homer News


Photo by Matt Tunseth, Morris News Service - Alaska

Lindsey Seneff makes a dive during state championships. Girls team scores are 1. Kodiak 118; 2. Ketchikan 82; 3. Dimond 68; 4. Juneau-Douglas 65; 5. East Anchorage 43; 6. Service 31; 7. West Valley 29; 8. Chugiak 25; 9. Seward 17; 10. Homer 13; 11. West Anchorage 10; 11. Soldotna 10; 13. Valdez 8; 13. North Pole 8; 15. IDEA 7; 16. South Anchorage 4; 16. Lathrop 4; 18. Kenai Central 3; 18. Sitka 3; 20. Palmer 2; 21. Thunder Mountain 1; 21. Eagle River 1.

Just before the Region III swim meet, Richard Ginter told his coach, Anna Borland-Ivy, he wanted to swim the 50-yard freestyle.

Good call.

A little over two weeks later, the Homer senior was Alaska's fastest swimmer in the event.

Ginter took home two individual medals — first in the 50 free and second in the 100 butterfly —and helped Homer's 200 free relay to a state title en route to a third-place team finish at the ASAA Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at Bartlett High.

"He's never really been a 50 freestyler," Borland-Ivy said. "It was a really good decision."

Ginter's 50 free time of 21.82 was more than six-tenths of a second faster than second-place Austin Hummel of Dimond.

"Richard had a great meet," Borland-Ivy said. "He killed his 50 freestyle."

Dimond's boys cruised to a third straight team title while Kodiak's girls won after two consecutive years as runners-up. Homer's boys were just two points behind second-place Sitka.

Ginter said he swam his best 50 free of the season at state. Ginter said he pushed himself for all 50 of those yards.

"It's the final meet of my swimming career in high school. I want to make it worth everything I got," he said. "Going all-out every race is part of that."

Composure and a superior work ethic led to Ginter's state title performance, Borland-Ivy said.

"He's put his nose to the grindstone and really worked hard," she said. "He's been very focused all season."

Ginter, who was ranked first in the butterfly, finished 0.13 seconds behind first-place Nathan Messing of Juneau-Douglas.

After Ginter swam his final event as a high-schooler, he had time to take in his accomplishments.

"Two firsts and a second, it's really good in my eyes," he said. "It sunk in. That was it."

The Mariners, who came in ranked No. 1 in the 200 free relay, acted like the top seed.

They dropped eight-tenths of a second off their seed time and came in nearly a half second ahead of second-place Dimond.

"They owned that race from the beginning," Borland-Ivy said.

Ginter, James Reid, Kyle Wentz and Nathanael Hardy — all seniors — have been practicing to be one of the state's top relay teams the past two years, Borland-Ivy said, and it paid off at state.

"It takes hard work, and they all put it in," she said. "They've really been putting in the time."

Ginter said each relay member swam their hardest, and they couldn't be happier with the result.

"We just went for it," he said. "We're all super stoked about today."

The same foursome was ranked No. 1 in the 200 medley relay, but finished a disappointing fifth.

Though the medley relay didn't reach the podium, being ranked first coming into state was a great achievement, Ginter said.

"To be placed first was amazing," he said.

Borland-Ivy said she was impressed with how the boys responded in the 200 free relay.

Hardy also reached the finals in two individual events. He placed fifth in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 breaststroke. Reid placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke.

Four of Homer's six divers at state (Lindsey Seneff, Jasmine Lewis, Brian Rowe and Garrett Hall) reached finals. Seneff, who didn't practice all week due to an ankle injury, placed third.

"That's all I wanted was to be on the podium," Seneff said. "I'm so happy."

Seneff, a senior, has made state all four years but never placed higher than sixth, she said. Seneff said the hardware she's bringing back to Homer was so exciting she was on the verge of tears.

"I have a medal," she said with a giant smile. "It's really huge and heavy."

Lewis finished eighth in the girls diving competition. On the boys side, Hall took fifth and Rowe placed eighth.

Marie Schmidt finished fourth in the 500 free. Her time of 5:22.51 is a new Homer record, Borland-Ivy said.

"She's a really hard worker," Borland-Ivy said.


Photo by Matt Tunseth, Morris News Service - Alaska

Richard Ginter swims to a first-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle at state championships. Boys team scores are 1. Dimond 129; 2. Sitka 59; 3. Homer 57; 4. Petersburg 54; 5. South Anchorage 51; 6. Kodiak 41; 7. West Valley 37; 8. Ketchikan 21; 9. Juneau-Douglas 20; 10. Soldotna 19; 11. North Pole 15; 12. East Anchorage 13; 13. Thunder Mountain 11; 14. Craig 10; 15. Chugiak 8; 16. Service 5; 17. Palmer 4; 18. Lathrop 1.

2011 State Swimming and Diving Championships

Saturday, Nov. 5 at Bartlett High

Homer High finalists


200 free relay — 5th place (Kyle Wentz, James Reid, Richard Ginter, Nathanael Hardy), 1:41.83. 50 free — Richard Ginter, 1st place, 21.82; Nathanael Hardy, 5th place, 22.81. 1-meter diving — Garrett Hall, 5th place, 350.30; Brian Rowe, 8th place, 282.05. 100 butterfly — Richard Ginter, 2nd place, 53.01. 200 free relay — 1st place (Richard Ginter, James Reid, Nathanael Hardy, Kyle Wentz), 1:30.11. 100 breast — Nathanael Hardy, 4th place, 1:02.25; James Reid, 8th place, 1:05.22.


1-meter diving — Lindsey Seneff, 3rd place, 307.45; Jasmine Lewis, 8th place, 271.80; 500 free — Marie Schmidt, 4th place, 5:22.51; 100 butterfly — Dana Olesch finished, 8th place, 1:01.78.