Petersburg High School’s swimming teams both took fifth place at the region meet in Ketchikan last weekend and three PHS swimmers qualified for the state championships. Juneau-Douglas won the region title for the girls’ team and Thunder Mountain won the boys’ team title.
Petersburg coach Andy Carlisle thinks he may not have rested his team enough before the region meet.
“They all raced really well and I just thought they could’ve done better,” he said. “I think I just missed the rest part a little bit. I think they needed a couple more days. A lot of ‘em swam best times but I just thought it would be a little more. That might just be the coach thing going on but…”
For the PHS girls, Izabelle Ith took first in the 100 free and third in the 50 free. Maddy Whitethorn also was second in the 100 free. The girls 200 free relay team of Whitethorn, Mariah Taylor, Maria Pfundt and Ith placed third.
For the boys, Ben Higgins was second in the 500 free and third in the 200 free. Van Abbott took second in the 100 breaststroke. Britton Erickson was third in both the 50 free and 100 free. Rylan Wallace took third in the 100 butterfly. Two boys relay teams also took third. Abbott, Erickson, Wallace and Higgins were third in the 200 free and 400 free relays.
Carlisle noted some of the most exciting races for the Vikings. “The 500 free for boys, Ben had a really good race with a kid from Thunder Mountain,” Carlisle said. “The 100 free was good. Britton Erickson did great in that and Van kinda had a heartbreaker he had a goggle malfunction and missed his wall.” Abbott was seeded first after the preliminaries in the 100 free but came in last in the finals of that event. Carlisle said Erickson missed a state qualifying time in the 100 free by 11 one hundredths of a second and Wallace in missed by two one hundredths in the 100 fly.
Ith, Abbott and Higgins qualified in individual events for the state swimming and diving championships this weekend at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center in Juneau. Carlisle said he’s just hoping his swimmers make the finals this year.
“On the first day the 16 swim and then the next day the finals the top 8 swim,” he explained. “And last year Izabelle and Ben were both ninth. So they just missed it by one place. So we’re hoping they can get up there and get in the show.”
Higgins and Ith are seniors this year along with Mariah Taylor.
The Juneau-Douglas High School video club plans to live stream the state championships.