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

Swimmers qualify for Junior Olympics


February 22, 2018

Emma Dohrn, Pacific Ricke, Lucia Chapell and Rio Ross-Hirsh show off their medals. Photo courtesy of Jackie St. Clair.

Three Haines Dolphins swimmers finished in the top three at the Age Group Champs state qualifying meet in Juneau, where 200 swimmers from 22 teams competed last weekend.

The qualifying event drew some of the fastest swimmers from the state. Eleven Dolphin swimmers swam at the event, many of whom broke team and individual records. Rio Ross-Hirsh, 11 and Pacific Ricke, 10, earned qualifying times for the national Northwest Age Group Champs in Federal Way, Wash. next month along with the Junior Olympics in Anchorage in April.

"Since this meet was statewide, our swimmers got to compete against other athletes they don't normally compete against from larger cities like Fairbanks, and Anchorage," said Haines Dolphins head coach Jackie St. Clair. "It was exciting for them to see some of the really fast 14-year-old swimmers from further north."

The Haines girls placed eighth out of 22 teams. The young athletes swam up to seven events plus relays.

Ricke also placed third for high points for girls 10 and under and Ross-Hirsh placed third for 11-year-old girls. Ricke broke records for the girls 10-and-under in 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard fly, 100-yard IM and her own 200-yard individual record.

Emery Tipkemper broke the Dolphins' 8-and-younger team records in 50 freestyle record, 100 backstroke and 50 breaststroke. He also broke his own 200 individual medley record.

Anica Tipkemper, 12, Manami Lehman, 11, and Nate White, 10, also competed in Juneau and improved their previous best times.

Results: Lucia Chapell, 2, 200-yard butterfly; Ricke, 2, 100-yard individual medley (IM), 2, 200-yard freestyle, 2, 100-yard butterfly, 2, 100-yard backstroke, 1, 200-yard IM, 1, 500-yard freestyle, 3, 100-yard breastroke; Ross-Hirch, 2, 200-yard backstroke, 2, 50-yard butterfly, 2, 100-yard backstroke, 1, 100- and 50-yard freestyle.


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