When asked by swim coach Maggie Rocheleau to pick a time to practice during spring break, Alison Narog didn’t hesitate in saying 8 a.m.
“It’s a good start to the day — it helps me get out of bed,” said Narog, a sophomore at Kodiak High School.
There was an incentive for Narog, Nick Carver, Ian Rocheleau and Amaya Rocheleau to get to the pool as the four were tuning up for the biggest meet of their young lives — Speedo Spring Sectionals in Phoenix, Arizona.
The four-day meet that features top-level swimmers from the Northwest started today.
The four Kodiak Kingfishers had to qualify for Speedo Sectionals and will be racing against middle school to collegiate swimmers.
Narog was thrilled to have qualified for her first national meet back in December and realized she needed to ramp up her training to compete on the big stage.
“I knew I had to put in a lot more effort at every practice, no matter what,” she said. “There was no time to slack off or mess around.”
Narog is swimming three events — 50- and 100-yard freestyles and 100 butterfly.
“I’m not in a place where I would place with the competitors, but I am definitely in a place where I can push myself to get the best times I have ever gone,” Narog said. “I could see myself possibly making a C final, but I am really excited to have the drive to swim against other kids.”
Ian Rocheleau — a junior fresh off a basketball season — has the best chance to reach an A final out of the Kodiak contingent.
He is swimming six events and is seeded 11th in the 200-yard backstroke (1 minute, 54.82 seconds), 12th in the 200 individual medley (1:57.34) and 15th in the 100 backstroke (52.64).
Amaya Rocheleau — an eighth-grader and Ian’s sister — is in three events and is seeded 24th in 100 backstroke (1:01.62) and 50 freestyle (24.82).
Carver’s best event out of three is the 100 breaststroke, where the KHS junior is seeded 27th (1:00.52).
“It’s cool to see all the work that you do pay off,” said Carver, who has aspirations of swimming in college.
Carver, though, didn’t vote for 8 a.m. practices. He was in the locker room when the group decided on early-morning swims.
“It’s early, but it gets it out of the way,” he said.
Talon Lindquist — currently a junior at the University of Hawaii — was the last Kingfisher to compete at a Speedo Spring Sectional. That was in 2017.
“This for us is gravy. It is a lot of hard work, and this is where they get to go and have the experience,” Maggie Rocheleau said. “It has been a year of training like no other. Our approach is to go down there and have your very best swims.”