File this under great news: There will be a state championship swimming event.
According to Kodiak High swim coach Maggie Rocheleau, Central Area Swimming recently approved a USA Swimming sanctioned meet to serve as an Alaska state championship for high school club swimmers.
The meet — not affiliated with the Alaska Schools Activities Association — will be Nov. 20-21 at the Bartlett High School swimming pool in Anchorage.
“It is a state for these guys — they will be able to have a state championship,” Rocheleau said.
ASAA canceled all fall championship events on Oct. 13, which opened the door for club programs to step in and create an event for the athletes. That is what Central Area Swimming did.
Kodiak’s qualifiers for the new club state meet will be representing the Kodiak Kingfishers club program instead of the high school. Rocheleau also coaches the club team.
Rocheleau said Central Area Swimming — an area that is comprised of club teams from Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla, Palmer, Valdez and Cordova — established qualifying standards for each event by averaging the state’s 16th-best qualifying time the last three years.
Swimmers have until Nov. 14 to establish qualifying marks. However, any time recorded after Aug. 1, 2019, also counts.
Kodiak has seven swimmers — Leslie Spear, Alicia Sarnowski, Alison Narog, Ian Rocheleau, Jackson Krug, Nick Carver and Jacob Sarnowski — who have already qualified, while a few more are on the cusp of qualifying.
Teams will also be allowed to enter one boy and girl team in each of the three relays.
“It is nice because they know they get to train for something,” Rocheleau said.
Rocheleau said it does not appear a virtual high school Region III Championship will materialize. ASAA said regional championships for activities currently in session must be completed before Nov. 22.
“Right now, our region isn’t really talking about what we are doing for regions,” the coach said.
Kodiak held its second time trial of the season on Saturday at the Kodiak Community Swimming Pool and will have one more the weekend of Nov. 13.
Intrasquad competition is crucial for developing fall athletes since they are not allowed to travel because of district imposed travel restrictions.
Nearly all of Saturday’s events either had just one or two swimmers, making it challenging to set fast marks.
Still, Rocheleau is encouraged with the effort put forth by her swimmers. The team still does two-a-day practices twice a week in addition to solo practices the other days.
The coach said swimmers are focusing on working on different aspects of a race instead of focusing on the entire race.
“The training is paying off,” she said. “They are doing what they need to do. Their times are reflecting that when I compare to where they were at last season and the year prior.”
200-yard freestyle — 1. Leslie Spear, 2:05.56. 50 freestyle — 1. Alison Narog, 25.82; 2. Addi Rogers, 27.52. 100 freestyle — 1. Alicia Sarnowski, 57.00; 2. Addi Rogers, 1:01.98; 3. Kayleigh Rogers, 1:06.22. 500 freestyle — 1. Alison Narog, 5:45.06. 100 backstroke — 1. Alicia Sarnowski, 1:04.86. 100 breaststroke — 1. Leslie Spear, 1:13.45; 2. Kayleigh Rogers, 1:24.50. 400 freestyle relay — 1. Alison Narog, Addi Rogers, Alicia Sarnowski, Leslie Spear, 4:07.19.
200-yard medley relay — 1. Max Robinson, Max Jensen, Jake Sarnowski, Alex Jensen, 1:54.25. 200 freestyle — 1. Ian Rocheleau, 1:50.00; 2. James Berestoff, 2:12.43. 200 individual medley — 1. Jake Sarnowski, 2:14.38; 2. Nick Carver, 2:20.42. 50 freestyle — 1. Alex Jensen, 25.31; 2. Max Jensen, 25.50; 3. Max Robinson, 25.60; 4. Isaac Beaver, 35.81. 100 freestyle — 1. Alex Jensen, 57.35; 2. Max Jensen, 59.57; 3. Isaac Beaver, 1:22.69. 500 freestyle — 1. Jake Sarnowski, 5:18.70; 2. James Berestoff, 6:22.76. 200 freestyle relay — 1. Ian Rocheleau, Isaac Beaver, Nick Carver, Jackson Krug, 1:45.13. 100 backstroke — 1. Ian Rocheleau, 56.95; 2. Jackson Krug, 59.55; 3. Max Robinson, 1:01.02. 100 breaststroke — 1. Nick Carver, 1:04.17; 2. Jackson Krug, 1:09.79. 400 freestyle relay — 1. Jake Sarnowski, Alex Jensen, Nick Carver, Jackson Krug, 3:36.67; 2. Max Robinson, James Berestoff, Max Jensen, Ian Rocheleau, 3:37.73.