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Palmieri, Posey lead Dolphins


Eight Haines Dolphins swimmers made the trip to Petersburg for a meet last month that featured the squad’s first relay event of the season.

“Even through sleeping on the ferry and sleeping on the floor of a church, we got a lot of really good, individual best times,” said coach Robert Butker.

Teams from Juneau and Ketchikan also competed at the event.

Dolphins Naomi Green, Skye Posey, Elena Saunders and Keva Shull, all age 11 or 12, swam 200-yard freestyle and medley relays that were two of the highlights of the meet for their coach.

“Of course, we don’t have any official times for that relay team, until now, so we have nothing to really benchmark it against, but if you take all of their best individual times, add them together, and then assume that’s going to be their relay time, they dropped about 15 seconds,” Butker said.

Brennan, Keegan and Dylan Palmieri, and Jasper Posey also swam for Haines at the meet that was a warm-up for this weekend’s Southeast Champs competition in Juneau.

Butker said Brennan Palmieri and Skye Posey tallied the most points for the Dolphins.

“We’ll never win a swim meet, because we just don’t have the numbers and, really, whoever wins the swim meet is the team that brings the most swimmers, but for two swimmers, between themselves, to get more than 40 points in any one meet, that’s pretty significant,” he said.

Butker expects a similar squad of eight Dolphins to participate in the Southeast Champs meet this weekend at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center, with Rio Ross-Hirsh and Rylee Tonsgard switching into the line-up. Entrants had to post qualifying times to earn a spot, and that likely will fuel even faster times in Juneau.

“Swimming is a real tricky sport,” Butker said. “You’ll find that your times fluctuate from meet to meet, from venue to venue, depending on water temperature, depending on how many lanes are swimming, depending on what lane you’re in and depending on the level of competition you’re swimming against. For instance, if you’re swimming in a lane and you see someone kicking bubbles directly in front of you, you swim a lot harder than if you’re swimming and you don’t see any bubbles being kicked in front of you.”

This week, Butker said changes to the ferry schedule might prevent the Dolphins from attending Friday’s opening session. Meets often open and close with distance events to give athletes time to recover, he said, so Haines might miss some of those more grueling swims.

“The super-competitive meets that we go to, which Southeast Champs definitely ranks as one of those super-competitive meets, we are expecting our swimmers to get some of their best times of the season,” he said.