It was out with the relative old and in with the new Friday at the SoHi Pentathlon. 

Kodiak senior Talon Lindquist won his fourth Pentathlon crown by edging out Colony senior Jake Simmons in a rousing boys competition, while Homer freshman Madison Story kept Kodiak senior Marina Cummiskey from a third straight title on the girls side. 

Lindquist has relegated Simmons to second place four years in a row at the Pentathlon, but the competition has never been this hear-raising and ear-splitting. 

Each swimmer at the event competes in the 100-yard individual medley, 50 butterfly, 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke and 50 freestyle. The times of those five events are then added up to determine the winner. Lindquist finished at 2 minutes, 30.63 seconds, while Simmons was at 2:31.72. 

Lindquist got things started with a 52.90 seconds to 53.48 victory in the IM. He then edged Simmons 23.62-26.64 in the fly and 24.32-24.47 in the backstroke. By the time Simmons squeezed out a 27.73-27.92 victory in the breaststroke, most everyone at the pool cheered Simmons for beating the seemingly unbeatable Lindquist, who is verbally committed to the University of Hawaii and had previously lost just one other Pentathlon race — the breaststroke to Simmons as a freshman. 

That set the stage for the 50 freestyle. The over-100 swimmers in attendance ringed the pool and screamed at the top of their lungs in anticipation of the race — an electrifying moment. 

“It was really empowering hearing the whole room cheering,” Simmons said. “The adrenaline was just rushing.” 

Lindquist also liked the prelude to his Pentathlon finale. 

“That was crazy,” he said. “It was one of the loudest times I can remember. I couldn’t hear them calling us up on the blocks. 

“That was great for the race. It really helped me push the last 50.” 

Lindquist, who had competing against Simmons since both were little kids, ended up taking down his longtime competitor 21.87-22.40. 

“He’s usually what I aim and shoot for,” Simmons said of Lindquist. “I’m getting closer and closer to being competition for him.” 

Lindquist was not at his best. He had an illness that took him out of a few practices and carried over into Monday. 

“I don’t like to use excuses,” Lindquist said. “The guy is racing phenomenally. He’s really improved since last year. It’s awesome.” 

Lindquist holds all the Pentathlon records except for the 50 butterfly and 50 breaststroke. He wanted those two records Friday, but came up short of any record times. 

“I wish my body was able to perform the way I wanted it to perform,” Lindquist said. “In a 50, you can’t mess anything up. Little things lead to a lot of time.” 

Region III powerhouse Kodiak swept the team titles. The girls scored 188 points to top the 168 of Soldotna and 146 of Colony. The boys registered 187 points to better the 173 of Colony and 132.5 of Kenai Central. 

The only thing keeping the Bears from total dominance was Story, who became quite the story with her upset victory. 

The 100 IM to kick off the meet was a good sign that something was amiss. Story won at 1:02.81, while favorites Cummiskey and Camille Dayton of Colony were both more than a second off the pace. 

“I was not expecting to win that,” Story said. “I was expecting to swim at Camille and Marina’s feet.” 

She said she was steadied by the presence of her grandparents, Lynn and John Bittner, and parents, Corise and Paul Story, at the meet. 

“My thought was I have a chance at this if I focus up and get going,” Story said. 

Cummiskey got time back by winning the 50 fly and 50 backstroke. But Story provided the knockout blow in the 50 breaststroke, winning at 32.44 while Cummiskey turned in a 36.10. Kodiak coach John Lindquist said swimmers can’t afford to be a little off when it comes to 50-meter sprints, and Cummiskey just happened to be a little off Friday. 

Story, who finished with a 2:59.66 total while Cummiskey was at 3:02.36, said she is more accustomed to competing against 13- and 14-year-olds, so the victory gives her confidence as a swimmer. 


Team scores: 1. Kodiak, 188; 2. Soldotna, 168; 3. Colony, 146; 4. Homer, 138; 5. Palmer, 107; 6. Kenai, 27; 7. Seward, 1. 

Top 10 swimmers total time (100 IM, 50 fly, 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle) 

1. Madison Story, Hom, 2 minutes, 59.66 seconds; 2. Marina Cummiskey, Kod, 3:02.36; 3. Sydney Juliussen, Sol, 3:04.96; 4. Gretchen Snedlers, Pal, 3:05.32; 5. Camille Dayton, Col, 3:06.36; 6. Alexis Mattson, Col, 3:08.66; 7. Portia Padilla, Sol, 3:11.19; 8. Devon Cummiskey, Kod, 3:13.31; 9. Leslie Spear, Kod, 3:14.04; 10. Ashtyn Petersen, Pal, 3:14.04. 



Team scores: 1. Kodiak, 187; 2. Colony, 173; 3. Kenai, 132.5; 4. Palmer, 77; 5. Wasilla, 55.5; 6. Homer, 49.5; 7. Soldotna, 40; 8. Unalaska, 36.5; 9. Seward, 24. 

Top 10 swimmers total time (100 IM, 50 fly, 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle) 

1. Talon Lindquist, Kod, 2:30.63; 2. Jake Simmons, Col, 2:31.72; 3. Max Snelders, Pal, 2:36.82; 4. Hunter Reese, Ken, 2:43.32; 5. Gabe Vestri Giovanni, Col, 2:43.77; 6. Luke James, Kod, 2:45.02; 7. Savaii Heaven, Ken, 2:45.47; 8. Ethan Evans, Sol, 2:46.85; 9. Koya Barrette, Was, 2:47.10; 10. Clayton Arndt, Hom, 2:48.20. 


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