Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Dolphins continue to break records as season continues


February 1, 2018

Haines Dolphins swimmer Pacific Ricke, 10, comes up for air during one of her five events in the Winter Games home swim meet Saturday, Jan.27. Ricke broke team records in all of her events this weekend. Natalie Helms photo.

Haines Dolphins swimmers crushed records at the Winter Games home meet last weekend, qualifying students for two competitive upcoming meets.

About 75 swimmers, 36 from Haines and 39 from Whitehorse, swam in the three-day meet that began Friday, Jan. 26. Juneau swimmers couldn't attend due to cancelled ferries.

"For a large number of younger swimmers, this was their first experience in a swimming competition which was very exciting," said head coach Jackie St. Clair. For older swimmers, this was a chance to achieve qualifying times for the AK Age Group Champs on Feb. 16 in Juneau and the Alaska Junior Olympics in April in Anchorage.

Swimmers Pacific Ricke and Leo Wald completed the "Frozen Fjord Challenge," which included swimming in the five most difficult events: the 500, 1,000 and 1,650-meter freestyle, 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley.

"It was really hard but really fun," Ricke said. She set new team records for all five events in the girls 10-and-under age group. "That was exciting," Ricke said.

Ricke said at 10 years old she is the oldest she can be in her age group. She said her goal is to achieve "high points" at the Age Group Champs meet, meaning she would need to accrue the most points in her category. Ricke said she plans to swim in seven events.

Wald set new records for the boys 11- and 12-year-old 1,000-meter freestyle and 200-meter butterfly.

Other team record breakers included Emery Tipkemper who set new boys 8 and under records in the 200-meter freestyle, 50-meter breaststroke, and 200-meter individual medley. Garrison DelPrete set a record for 10-and-under boys in the 200-meter breaststroke,

"Age Group Champs in Juneau is a qualifying meet so swimmers have to have times faster than a certain standard in order to go," St. Clair said. "At our home meet, six swimmers got new qualifying times for Age Groups, so we currently have 10 eligible athletes."

Emma Dohrn, 10, is one who qualified. She said she is excited to see friends from other Southeast communities at the upcoming meet. Lucia Chapell, 11, said the larger meets are more challenging, and she is excited to continue to break records and get faster times.

The girls were excited to wear their compression swimsuits, which reduce resistance in the water and make them swim faster.

"It takes about 10 minutes to squeeze into them, but they make you go fast," Dohrn said.

"Overall Haines athletes did amazing this weekend," St. Clair said. "Because of travel there have not been many opportunities to compete, especially for the younger swimmers, so it was great that they were able to showcase all the hard work they have been putting in this season."

She said the swim season runs from September through April, and registration is always open for new swimmers.


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