Eagle River swimmers make history at state meet

Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 23:27
  • Eagle River swimmers and coaches cheer as the team’s girls 200 yard individual medley team wins first place at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Ellie Mercer leaves the blocks during the girls 200 medley relay at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Hannah Shaw swims the breaststroke during the girls 200 yard medley relay at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Chugiak’s Jimmy Blackstone swims the first leg of the boys 200 medley relay at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Ealge River’s Kiara Borchardt swims during the girls 200 yard medley relay at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s Matthew Heaphy competes in the boys 200 individual medley at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s McKenzie Fazio swims to victory in the girls 200 yard freestyle race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Chugiak’s Shelby Thompson competes in the girls 200 individual medley race at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Eagle River’s McKenzie Fazio, Kiara Borchardt, Ellie Mercer and Hannah Shaw embrace after winning the girls 200 medley relay at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bartlett High on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)
  • Chugiak’s Gabe Dobson competes in the diving competition Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 during the state swimming and diving championships at Bartlett. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Saturday began with a splash and ended with a souvenir for the Eagle River girls swimming and diving team, which won the first event of the day at the ASAA/First National Bank Swimming and Diving Championships and walked away with the school’s first state swimming runner-up trophy.

The Wolves won four individual girls titles and a relay championship; McKenzie Fazio claimed two individual victories, with Ellie Mercer and Kiara Borchardt winning one each.

Fazio, Mercer, Borchardt and Hannah Shaw opened the meet by sending a message to the field that the Wolves were on the prowl, winning the girls 200 medley relay by more than two seconds over second-place Homer.

Just minutes later, McKenzie Fazio sent another shockwave through the Bartlett Natatorium when she gave the Wolves two wins in two events by destroying the field in the 200 yard freestyle, touching the wall nearly five seconds before runner-up Breckynn Willis of Dimond.

The win was the first of two dominant performances for the junior, who bested Sitka’s Grace Harang by almost six seconds in the 500 yard freestyle.

Fazio, Borchardt, Shaw and Mercer also joined forces for a second-place finish in the 200 yard freestyle relay.

Borchardt claimed more bling for the Wolves in the girls 100 yard butterfly, outracing Dimond’s Willis for her first state title.

Mercer closed out the victory parade by winning the 100 yard backstroke. She also placed third in the 50 free for the Wolves.

The second-place finish topped the Wolves’ previous best — a third-place finish last season — and was the best finish ever for a Chugiak or Eagle River girls team. It was the best team finish by any local team since the Chugiak boys placed second in 1989 (the 1985 Chugiak boys are the only local team to win a state team title).

Lost in the girls team’s heroics was the performance of the Eagle River boys, who also improved one spot from last year to claim a program-best third place finish. The Wolves’ Josiah Keen, Matthew Heaphy, Caleb Rapanut and Thomas Myers were second in the 200 yard medley relay; with Heaphy, Myers, Micah Keen and William Spence claiming fourth in the 200 yard freestyle relay.

Heaphy finished third in both the 100 yard breaststroke and 200 yard individual medley for the Wolves, who also got a fifth-place finish from Josiah Keen in the 100 yard breaststroke.

The Dimond girls won their fifth straight state title and Service won its second consecutive boys championship.

Seward’s Lydia Jacoby set the day’s only state record, besting her own mark from last year in the 100 breaststroke.

The Chugiak boys team of Jimmy Blackstone, Donovan Lodzins, Reuben Dobson and Gabe Dobson finished sixth in the 200 yard medley relay, and Gabe Dobson pulled off a rare double for the Mustangs by placing third in the boys diving competition.

Blackstone finished second in the 100 yard butterfly and fourth in the 100 yard backstroke to lead Chugiak, which finished eighth in the boys standings.

Shelby Thompson finished third in the 100 yard freestyle and eighth in the 200 yard individual medley for the Chugiak girls, who were 17th in the team standings.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated from a previous version, which misstated the boys team champions.

ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Swimming and Diving Championships

Friday-Saturday, Bartlett High

Girls

Team scores — 1) Dimond, 100; 2) Eagle River, 74; 3) West Valley, 65; 4) Sitka, 60; 5) Homer, 44; 6) Lathrop, 28; 7) South, 26; 8) Thunder Mountain, 21; 9) Colony, 20; 10) Kodiak, 18; 11) Seward, 15; 12) (tie) Wasilla and Palmer, 14; 14) (tie) Monroe and Hutchinson, 11; 16) Ketchikan, 8; 17) Chugiak, 7; 18) Juneau-Douglas, 6; 19) Soldotna, 4; 20) (tie) Wrangell and West, 3; 22) Valdez, 1

200 yard medley relay — 1) Eagle River (Ellie Mercer, Hannah Shaw, Kiara Borchardt, McKenzie Fazio), 1 minute, 48.85 seconds; 2) Homer, 1:51.38; 3) Dimond, 1:52.29; 4) West Valley, 1:52.83; 5) Sitka, 1:53.22; 6) Colony, 1:53.51; 7) South, 1:53.61

200 yard freestyle — 1) McKenzie Fazio, Eagle River, 1:53.36; 2) Breckynn Willis, Dim, 1:58.28; 3) Emma Gassman, 2:00.27; 4) Leslie Spear, Kod, 2:00.40; 5) Allie Morgan, TMHS, 2:00.45; 6) Mesa Moran, JDHS, 2:02.38; 7) Hannah Boyce, 2:02.49; 8) Shannon McCallum, Hom, 2:02.52

200 yard individual medley — 1) Madison Story, Homer, 2:07.07; 2) Dreamer Kowatch, Dim, 2:08.55; 3) Lydia Jacoby, Sew, 2:09.83; 4) Patty Eppingher, WV, 2:12.70; 5) Laura Sherrill, Ket, 2:14.22; 6) Samantha Bristor, WV, 2:15.18; 7) Sophia Schwantes, Sit, 2:17.34; 8) Shelby Thompson, Chu, 2:18.68

50 yard freestyle — 1) Katy McCarter, Lathrop, 24.53; 2) Grace Harang, Sit, 24.57; 3) Ellie Mercer, ER, 24.89; 4) Brooke Dittlinger, Dim, 25.06; 5) Aubrey Cheng, South, 25.20; 6) Isabelle Borke, Dim, 25.21; 7) Victoria Schachle, Mon, 25.36; 8) Renee Roberts, Wrangell, 25.71

Diving — 1) Carrie Mayer, Wasilla, 437.05; 2) Jenna Walch, dimond, 397.75; 3) Tyler Coffman, Palmer, 387.55; 4) Grace Greene, Hutchison, 372.85; 5) Lily Collins, Wasilla, 363.70; 6) Taylor Miller, Palmer, 343; 7) Ally Hrncir, Palmer, 328.45; 8) Audrey Dietz, Wasilla, 324.3

100 yard butterfly — 1) Kiara Borchardt, Eagle River, 57.47; 2) Breckynn Willis, Dim, 57.71; 3) Summer Cheng, South, 58.85; 4) Sophia Schwantes, Sitka, 1:00.00; 5) Laura Sherrill, Ket, 1:00.02; 6) Alison Nerog, Kod, 1:00.22; 7) Adeline Berry, Hom, 1:00.50; 8) Nancy Liddle, TMHS, 1:02.98

100 yard freestyle — 1) Dreamer Kowatch, Dimond, 52.63; 2) Katy McCarter, Lathrop, 52.88; 3) Shelby Thompson, Chu, 54.29; 4) Samantha Bristor, WV, 54.43; 5) Allie Morgan, TMHS, 54.72; 6) Ally Ferguson, Pal, 55.72; 7) Renee Roberts, Wrangell, 55.73; 8) Joscelyn Barrette, Col, 55.77

500 yard freestyle — 1) McKenzie Fazio, Eagle River, 5:11.73; 2) Grace harang, Sit, 5:17.41; 3) Emma Gassman, Sit, 5:17.71; 4) Cassidy Welshe, Hutch, 5:18.65; 5) Meah McCallum, WV, 5:25.89; 6) Ryann Dorris, West, 5:26.69; 7) Nancy Liddle, TMHS, 5:29.68; 8) Naomi Burgan, Dim, 5:32.01

200 yard freestyle relay — 1) Dimond (Dreamer Kowatch, Mikayla Terry, Brooke Dittlinger, Breckynn Willis), 1:38.86; 2) Eagle River, 1:39.65; 3) Homer, 1:41.38; 4) West Valley, 1:42.89; 5) Colony, 1:44.12; 6) Lathrop, 1:44.15; 7) Sitka, 1:45.35; 8) Soldotna, 1:45.45

100 yard backstroke — 1) Ellie Mercer, Eagle River, 56.77; 3) Heidi Billings, WV, 57.70; 3) Summer Cheng, South, 59.60; 4) Victoria Schachle, Monroe, 1:01.63; 5) Hannah Boyce, Dim, 1:02.35; 6) Tahlia Gerger, JDHS, 1:02.92; 7) Timberlyn Wendt, Lat, 1:03.64; 8) Jordan Gagner, Sit, 1:03.68

100 yard breaststroke — 1) Lydia Jacoby, Sew, 1:00.61 (new state record; old record 1:03.11 by Jacoby in 2018); 2) Madison Story, 1:03.57; 3) Patty Eppingher, WV, 1:06.62; 4) Jasmine Biederman, Col, 1:07.08; 5) Jean Cook, 1:07.72; 6) Juliette Benson, 1:08.00; 7) Leslie Spear, Kod, 1:10.06; 8) Billi Lovell, Val, 1:10.55

400 yard freestyle relay — 1) Dimond (Breckynn Willis, Mikayla Terry, Hannah Boyce, Dreamer Kowatch), 3:37.40; 2) Sitka, 3:41.07; 3) West Valley, 3:42.55; 4) Thunder Mountain, 3:43.85; 5) Kodiak, 3:44.74; 6) South, 3:45.93; 7) Lathrop. 3:49.64; 8) Soldotna, 3:55.32

Boys

Team scores — 1) Service, 102; 2) Dimond, 99; 3) West Valley, 49; 4) Eagle River, 40; 5) Juneau-Douglas, 36; 6) Colony, 34; 7) Kodiak, 32; 8) Chugiak, 28; 9) Kenai Central, 24; 10) Seward, 18; 11) Wasilla, 16; 12) (tie) Soldotna and West, 13; 14) Sitka, 11; 15) South, 10; 16) (tie) Petersburg and Thunder Mountain, 8; 18) Cordova, North Pole and Ketchikan, 4; 21) Valdez, 2

200 yard medley relay — 1) Dimond (Jacob Mitchell, Andrew Billings, Noah Hoefer, Fischer Kass), 1:37.86; 2) Eagle River, 1:40.82; 3) Kodiak, 1:41.18; 4) Kenai, 1:41.78; 5) Juneau-Douglas, 1:43.60; 6) Chugiak, 1:45.43; 7) Thunder Mountain, 1:45.73; 8) North Pole, 1:47.14

200 yard freestyle — 1) Tavner Wisdom, Service, 1:44.65; 2) Jesse Tatakis, Dim, 1:44.76; 3) Kenneth Octuk, Dim, 1:45.22; 4) Caleb Peimann, JDHS, 1:45.25; 5) Tytan Frawley, Sit, 1:46.25; 6) Peter Kowalski, Pet, 1:47.71; 7) Jackson Krug, 1:48.32;

200 yard individual medley — 1) Nicholas Price, Service, 1:55.93; 2) Ian Rochelaau, Kod, 1:57.73; 3) Matthew Heaphy, ER, 1:59.45; 4) Julien Wiese, West, 2:00.35; 5) Konnor Kolberg, Col, 2:00.64; 6) Logan Fox, WV, 2:01.23; 7) Chaz VanSlyke, JDHS, 2:01.44; 8) Ethan Kwon, Ser, 2:02.77

50 yard freestyle — 1) Brian Jarupakorn, Service, 20.53; 2) Ezra Billings, WV, 21.03; 3) Ethan Evans, Sol, 21.26; 4) Connor Spanos, Sew, 21.89; 5) Scott Babbitt, Dim, 21.90; 6) Fischer Kass, Dim, 22.17; 7) Travon Rodgers, NP, 22.45; 8) Owen Rolph, Ken, 22.91

Diving — 1) Andrew Layman, Wasilla, 464.65l 2) Eli Krozel, Col, 461.65; 4) Kade Reynolds, Was, 439.50; 5) Marty Rygh, Dim, 409.90; 6) Daniel Cabrera, West, 363.60; 7) Deshawn Campbell, Was, 359.30; 8) Xander Backus, Col, 333.15

100 yard butterfly — 1) Brian Jarupakorn, Service, 49.90; 2) Jimmy Blackstone, Chu, 53.00; 3) Connor Spanos, Sew, 53.15; 4) Jacob Mitchell, Dim, 53.22; 5) Chaz VanSlyke, JDHS, 54.14; 6) Owen Rolph, Ken, 54.55; 7) Mikel Carhart, West, 55.22; 8) Chase Randall, Val, 55.89

100 yard freestyle — 1) Ezra Billings, West Valley. 47.84; 2) Jesse Tatakis, Dim, 47.91; 3) Scott Babbitt, Dim, 48.16; 4) Konnor Kolberg, Col, 48.79; 5) David Bascom, South, 48.96; 6) Fischer Kass, Dim, 49.92; 7) Ethan Bartz, South, 50.15; 8) Hunter Hollingsworth, Sew, 50.88

500 yard freestyle — 1) Caleb Peimann, Juneau-Douglas, 4:46.88l 2) Tytan Frawley, Sit, 4:48.25; 3) Logan Fox, WV, 4:48.25; 4) Peter Kowalski, Pet, 4:51.59; 5) Trent Fritsch, Cdv, 4:51.75; 6) Ian Rocheleau, Kod, 4:53.04; 7) Kenneth Octuk, Dim, 4:55.82; 8) Koda Poulin, Ken, 5:05.53

200 yard freestyle relay — 1) Service (Tavner Wisdom, Ethan Kwon, Ethan Bartz, Brian Jarupakorn), 1:25.99; 2) Dimond, 1:27.64; 3) West Valley, 1:29.73; 4) Eagle River, 1:29.96; 5) Kenai, 1:32.73; 6) Seward, 1:32.85; 7) South, 1:33.47; 8) Thunder Mountain, 1:35.05

100 yard backstroke — 1) Nicholas Price, Service, 52.29; 2) Jonathan Cowin, Col, 52.42; 3) Jacob Mitchell, Dim, 53.74; 4) Jimmy Blackstone, Chu, 55.64; 5) Bryce Mattson, Ket, 57.08; 6) William Kitchen, 57.66; 7) Noah Loseby, TMHS, 58.05; 8) Isaiah Silveira, Val, 59.84

100 yard breaststroke — 1) Tavner Wisdom, Service, 57.14; 2) Ethan Evans, Sol, 58.06; 3) Matthew Heaphy, ER, 58.96; 4) Ethan Kwon, Ser, 1:00.34; 5) Josiah Keen, 1:00.52; 6) Julien Wiese, West, 1:00.79; 7) Nicholas Carver, Kod, 1:01.39; 8) Trevor Bagley, Ken, 1:02.30

400 yard freestyle relay — 1) Service (Nicholas Price, Ethan Bartz, William Kitchen, Tavner Wisdom), 3:11.15; 2) Dimond, 3:13.89; 3) West Valley, 3:17.87; 4) Colony, 3:21.16; 5) Juneau-Douglas, 3:22.07; 6) Kodiak, 3:24.18; 7) Chugiak, 3:27.60; 8) South, 3:28.61

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