Swimmers hit pool in Sitka
The PHS swim teams traveled to Sitka last weekend for the first meet of the year. The meet offered two days of events and showed the strongest events for the Vikings so far would be anything involving freestyle, according to head coach Andy Carlisle.
"We had everybody do pretty good, especially in our freestyle races," he said. "Our other races weren't as good as the freestyle ones, but they were still pretty good overall."
On Friday, the girls team took third place behind Juneau-Douglas and Sitka, and the boys finished just five points behind Juneau-Douglas, earning them second place. Van Abbott took second place in the 100 yard backstroke, followed closely by Britton Erickson. Freshman Peter Kowalski came in a couple seconds later to take fifth place in the event.
Ben Higgins won the 100 and 200 yard freestyle events with close finishes. The boys team also pulled out a victory in the 400 yard freestyle relay and earned second in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Kowalski and fellow freshman Rylan Wallace were part of the 400 yard relay team. Wallace also had a great 100 yard butterfly, according to Carlisle.
Alyssa Guthrie finished with a first place time in the 500 yard freestyle, and freshman Brynn Lister came in fourth. Senior Izabelle Ith earned third place in the 100 yard freestyle with freshman Maddy Whitethorn finishing in fourth.
"Our freshmen did really well," Carlisle said.
For Carlisle, having incoming freshmen ready to make an impact when they hit the pool makes life easier and can be a nice motivator for upper class athletes.
On Saturday, Ith captured the first victory of the day for the Vikings early in the 50 yard freestyle, with Whitethorn finishing in fifth place. Higgins followed up his teammate's win by taking the 50 yard freestyle as well, and Erickson ended up in third place, coming in behind a close finish. Higgins touched the wall at 24.43 seconds and Tate Goering of Juneau-Douglas finished at 24.44.
Later in the day Abbott took first in the 100 yard freestyle, and his time would have beat the time of Higgins in the event on Friday. Abbott also won the 100 yard breaststroke, while Higgins pulled out a somewhat easy finish to the 500 yard freestyle, winning by almost four seconds.
Also on Saturday, Ith and Whitethorn finished seconds apart in the 100 yard backstroke, taking second and fourth place. Maria Pfundt took third place in the 100 yard butterfly. In the boys 100 yard backstroke, Wallace earned five points for second place and Chase Lockhart grabbed four team points with third place.
The boys ended up winning the team points for Saturday's meet, pulling ahead from second place Juneau-Douglas by 15 points. The girls had a solid showing but ended up in third place during both days of competition.
The teams are off this weekend, and will travel to Juneau the week after. For Carlisle, swimming in Sitka was a good test and the team will have to keep putting in hard work if they want to see results, he said.
"We train hard and we talk about that quite a bit," Carlisle said. "We talk about building your race; it doesn't matter who wins the first half, it matters who wins the second half."