May 17, 2012 | Volume 42, No.20

Two Dolphins swim at state championship

Haley Sweet-Cushing of the Haines Dolphins swim team posted top-10 finishes in four events at the Junior Olympics in Anchorage last month.

Sweet-Cushing, 10, represented the Dolphins in the 10 and under division. Rebekah Green, 16, also swam for Haines in the state championship meet. Athletes had to meet time standards to qualify for the April 26-29 event.

“It was fun, but on the way going up, it wasn’t quite fun, with a 14-hour drive,” Sweet-Cushing said. “We got one full day doing nothing, so we just explored Anchorage, and the swimming was amazing, even though there was a whole lot of swimmers.”

She placed second in the 50-yard backstroke, fourth in the 50 freestyle, fifth in the 200 freestyle and 10th in the 100 breastroke. Sweet-Cushing also qualified for the Junior Olympics in the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle.

Green swam in the preliminary rounds of the 200 backstroke and 200 breaststroke.

“I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but I’m really glad I went, just for the opportunity to get up there and know that I made it that far,” she said.

Green said she hopes to return to the Junior Olympics in 2013.

Sweet-Cushing said she would swim for Sitka next school year, and then be back in Haines the following season. She said one of the challenges at the Junior Olympics was that her goggles kept falling off, limiting her vision.

Sweet-Cushing tried out the 500-yard freestyle at the swim team’s annual Winter Games in January, and called the grueling event “pretty fun.”

“I love swimming and I like being on the swim team,” she said. “It’s just really fun, and I like being in the water.”