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December 16, 2017

Diving toward a new record

Diving toward a new record

Eagle River’s Jami Stone hits new marks and Mustangs grab fourth

By DAVID MORSE

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Emmie Jennings at start of 50 yard freestyle preliminaries Friday at Bartlett. Jennings won the heat, posting the fastest time of the day (23.76 seconds) before placing second in the finals of both the 50 free and 100 free individual events. The Chugiak 200 and 400 freestyle teams placed second, to Kodiak, while finishing second in the ASAA State Championships, held Friday and Saturday at Bartlett High.

DAVID MORSE

Following the line that “records are made to be broken,” local diver Jami Stone got in on the action, breaking the 16-year-old mark of 463.45 points, set in 1998 by then Chugiak senior Alaina Patterson, with an incredible 11-dive tally of 474.70, in action Friday and Saturday at the Bartlett 50-meter pool.

The Eagle River High junior’s individual efforts were supported by an eighth-place finish by the Wolves’ boys team, and the fourth-place finish by Chugiak High girls, bringing about a stellar meet for areawide athletes.

Eagle River dive coach Chad Frichtl, himself a three-time state champion in the event from 2002-2004 at Chugiak, said that Stone separated herself from the competition with each successive dive.

“I told her to take it one dive at a time. Every single dive had to be perfect,” he said.

Stone, second at state last year, did one better this year, recording a total that exceeded the boys’ scores as well.

“The goal the whole time was to get the record,” said Frichtl, who dove at the University of Alabama in 2004-2006.

Working on the five elements of the sport – boardwork, takeoff, power, height and entry, Stone excelled at each, said the dive coach.

“She was strong on every single dive,” he added. “She has endless potential.”

Equally effusive of her team’s athletes was Chugiak coach Anne Williams, in particular with the Mustangs girls squad.

Sammie Burke won two state titles – the 200 free and 100 backstroke, with Emmie Jennings placing second in 50 and 100 free, both behind record-setting times from Ila Hughes of Kodiak.

Burke and Jennings teamed up with Cheyenne Burke and Abby Blackstone to place second in both the 200m and 400m free relays, both behind Kodiak with Hughes as the anchor leg.

“Everyone had lifetime best times all-around. We couldn’t have been more pleased,” said Williams. “Everyone had awesome swims. You can’t control what other athletes do, but we did very well.”

The relay teams set new school marks, as did Jennings’ freestyle times and Burke’s backstroke.

Given that the Chugiak girls had only four girls in the final individual events, among the nine events, along with two of three relays, the fourth-place showing was remarkable, Williams said.

The only Mustang male in the finals was senior diver Shawn Fugere, who placed fifth.

Eagle River’s quintet of men, swimmers Blaise and Bryce Fox-Icarro, Nigel Floyd, Bryce Carpenter and Brandon Fast saw the finals, with senior Blaise Fox-Icarro placing second in the 100 butterfly. The 200 med relay team placed fourth and the 200 free team fifth.

The Wolves’ lone titlist was Stone with the new record, with junior Jordyn Bruce fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 100 breaststroke.

Eagle River coach Grant Gamblin said he was pleased with his team’s showing at state as well.

A list of the 2014 state records posted included nine events – 200 medley relay, Juneau girls; girls 200 IM – Tahna Lindquist, Kodiak; boys 200 IM – Talon Lindquist, Kodiak; girls 50 free – Ila Hughes, Kodiak; girls 1-meter diving – Jami Stone, Eagle River; girls 100 free – Ila Hughes, Kodiak; boys 100 free – Abel Aulback, Petersburg; girls 500 free – Tahna Lindquist, Kodiak and boys 100 back – Talon Lindquist, Kodiak.

Girls – 1) Juneau-Douglas, 100; 2) tie, Kodiak and Dimond, 87; 4) Chugiak, 64; 5) South Anchorage, 43; 6) Soldotna, 36; 7) West Valley, 29; 8) West Anchorage, 25; 9) Colony, 23; 10) Eagle River, 18; 11) Sitka, 9; 12) Ketchikan, 8; 13) Valdez, 7; 14) Hutchison, 5; 15) Bartlett, 4; 16) tie, Kenai and North Pole, 3; 18) tie, Thunder Mountain and Palmer, 2.

Boys – 1) Dimond, 110; 2) Kodiak, 96; 3) Service, 57; 4) Petersburg, 50; 5) Thunder Mountain, 46; 6) Colony, 39; 7) Soldotna, 35; 8) Eagle River, 29; 9) Sitka, 22; 10) tie, South Anchorage and West Valley, 20; 12) Lathrop, 10; 13) Wasilla, 9; 14) Chugiak, 4; 15) tie, Palmer and Ketchikan, 3; 17) North Pole, 2.

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Diving toward a new record