In this file photo from Sept. 20, 2019, Caleb Peimann competes in the 50-yard freestyle at the Juneau Invitational Swim Meet at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center. Peimann won the state 500-yard freestyle in Anchorage on Saturday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

In this file photo from Sept. 20, 2019, Caleb Peimann competes in the 50-yard freestyle at the Juneau Invitational Swim Meet at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center. Peimann won the state 500-yard freestyle in Anchorage on Saturday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau swimmer wins first state title since 2012

Crimson Bear boys place fifth at state meet

Four swimmers jostled for the lead.

Near the end of the race, one emerged: Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé junior Caleb Peimann.

It was the “probably best race at the whole meet,” his coach Seth Cayce raved.

“It felt really good,” Peimann said in an interview afterward. “There was a lot of boys who were really close there and I went a best time so that was really exciting. It was a really fun race.”

Peimann captured the 500-yard freestyle state title Saturday at the Barlett Pool in Anchorage. He won in 4 minutes, 46.88 seconds. Tytan Frawley of Sitka placed second in 4:48.06 and Logan Fox of West Valley placed third in 4:48.25.

“I’ve never been in a distance race like that that was that close,” Peimann, who also placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle, said. “It was very rare for that many boys to be under 4:50 and it was really a special year I think.”

A week earlier at the Region V Swim & Dive Championships in Sitka, Peimann came in second place in the event, two seconds behind Frawley. But that loss didn’t deter his belief in himself, he said.

“I thought my chances were pretty good,” Peimann said. “I tapered for state, not regions, so I knew it was likely that I was not going to win regions but I still had a good chance to win that (race) at state.”

The state title highlighted the Crimson Bear boys’ second consecutive fifth-place showing at the ASAA state championships. JDHS had 36 points behind Service (102 points), Dimond (99 points), West Valley (49 points) and Eagle River (40 points). The Thunder Mountain High School boys tied Petersburg for 16th place with eight points.

The last time a JDHS boys swimmer won an event at state was 2012, according to Cayce.

Six other Juneau swimmers placed in the top-eight in Friday’s preliminaries to advance to the finals, three from JDHS and three from Thunder Mountain.

Representing the Crimson Bears in the finals were Chaz VanSlyke (seventh, 200-yard IM; fifth, 100-yard butterfly), Mesa Moran (sixth, 200-yard freestyle) and Tahlia Gerger (sixth, 100-yard backstroke). The Falcons finalists were Allie Morgan (fifth, 100-yard freestyle; fifth, 200-yard freestyle), Nancy Liddle (eighth, 100-yard butterfly; seventh, 500-yard freestyle) and Noah Loseby (seventh, 100-yard backstroke).

Liddle was on the team that finished fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay, the highest placing of Juneau’s relay teams. The Falcons, who placed eighth in team standings, set a new school record with their 3:43 mark. TMHS sophomore Riley Traxler said the future is bright for Falcon relays.

“I have a very, very strong belief in our relay teams that we are just going to keep getting faster,” Traxler said. “All of our relays are set and stacked with young athletes and I think especially with all of us being freshmen and sophomores we’re just going to keep improving.”

ASAA/First National Bank state swimming and diving

Friday and Saturday, Bartlett Pool

Boys Results

Team scores — 1, Service, 102; 2, Dimond, 99; 3, West Valley, 49; 4, Eagle River, 40; 5, Juneau-Douglas, 36; 6, Colony, 34; 7, Kodiak, 32; 8, Chugiak, 28; 9, Kenai Central, 24; 10, Seward, 18; 11, Wasilla, 16; 12, (tie) Soldotna and West, 13; 14, Sitka, 11; 15, South, 10; 16, (tie) Petersburg and Thunder Mountain, 8; 18, Cordova, North Pole and Ketchikan, 4; 21, Valdez, 2.

200 yard medley relay — 1, Dimond (Jacob Mitchell, Andrew Billings, Noah Hoefer, Fischer Kass), 1:37.86. 2, Eagle River, 1:40.82. 3, Kodiak, 1:41.18. 4, Kenai, 1:41.78.

200 yard freestyle — 1, Tavner Wisdom, Service, 1:44.65. 2, Jesse Tatakis, Dimond, 1:44.76. 3, Kenneth Octuk, Dimond, 1:45.22. 4, Caleb Peimann, JDHS, 1:45.25.

200 yard individual medley — 1, Nicholas Price, Service, 1:55.93. 2, Ian Rochelaau, Kodiak, 1:57.73. 3, Matthew Heaphy, Eagle River, 1:59.45. 4, Julien Wiese, West, 2:00.35.

50 yard freestyle — 1, Brian Jarupakorn, Service, 20.53. 2, Ezra Billings, West Valley, 21.03. 3, Ethan Evans, Soldotna, 21.26. 4, Connor Spanos, Seward, 21.89.

Diving — 1, Andrew Layman, Wasilla, 464.65. 2, Eli Krozel, Colony, 461.65. 3, Gabe Dobson, Chugiak, 440.65. 4, Kade Reynolds, Wasilla, 439.50.

100 yard butterfly — 1, Brian Jarupakorn, Service, 49.90. 2, Jimmy Blackstone, Chugiak, 53.00. 3, Connor Spanos, Seward, 53.15. 4, Jacob Mitchell, Dimond, 53.22.

100 yard freestyle — 1, Ezra Billings, West Valley, 47.84. 2, Jesse Tatakis, Dimond, 47.91. 3, Scott Babbitt, Dimond, 48.16. 4, Konnor Kolberg, Colony, 48.79.

500 yard freestyle — 1, Caleb Peimann, Juneau-Douglas, 4:46.88. 2, Tytan Frawley, Sitka, 4:48.25. 3, Logan Fox, West Valley, 4:48.25. 4, Peter Kowalski, Petersburg, 4:51.59. 5, Trent Fritsch, Cordova, 4:51.75.

200 yard freestyle relay — 1, Service (Nicholas Price, Brian Jarupakorn, Ethan Kwon, Tavner Wisdom), 1:25.99. 2, Dimond, 1:27.64. 3, West Valley, 1:29.73. 4, Eagle River, 1:29.96.

100 yard backstroke — 1, Nicholas Price, Service, 52.29. 2, Jonathan Cowin, Colony, 52.42. 3, Jacob Mitchell, Dimond, 53.74. 4, Jimmy Blackstone, Chugiak, 55.64.

100 yard breaststroke — 1, Tavner Wisdom, Service, 57.14. 2, Ethan Evans, Soldotna, 58.06. 3, Matthew Heaphy, Eagle River, 58.96. 4, Ethan Kwon, Service, 1:00.34.

400 yard freestyle relay — 1, Service (Nicholas Price, Brian Jarupakorn, Ethan Kwon, Tavner Wisdom), 3:11.15. 2, Dimond, 3:13.89. 3, West Valley, 3:17.87. 4, Colony, 3:21.16.

Girls Results

Team scores — 1, Dimond, 100; 2, Eagle River, 74; 3, West Valley, 65; 4, Sitka, 60; 5, Homer, 44; 6, Lathrop, 28; 7, South, 26; 8, Thunder Mountain, 21; 9, Colony, 20; 10, Kodiak, 18; 11, Seward, 15; 12, (tie) Wasilla and Palmer, 14; 14, (tie) Monroe and Hutchinson, 11; 16, Ketchikan, 8; 17, Chugiak, 7; 18, Juneau-Douglas, 6; 19, Soldotna, 4; 20, (tie) Wrangell and West, 3; 22, Valdez, 1.

200 yard medley relay — 1, Eagle River (Ellie Mercer, Hannah Shaw, Kiara Borchardt, McKenzie Fazio), 1 minute, 48.85 seconds. 2, Homer, 1:51.38. 3, Dimond, 1:52.29. 4, West Valley, 1:52.83.

200 yard freestyle — 1, McKenzie Fazio, Eagle River, 1:53.36. 2, Breckynn Willis, Dimond, 1:58.28. 3, Emma Gassman, Sitka, 2:00.27. 4, Leslie Spear, Kodiak, 2:00.40.

200 yard individual medley — 1, Madison Story, Homer, 2:07.07. 2, Dreamer Kowatch, Dimond, 2:08.55. 3, Lydia Jacoby, Seward, 2:09.83. 4, Patty Eppingher, West Valley, 2:12.70.

50 yard freestyle — 1, Katy McCarter, Lathrop, 24.53. 2, Grace Harang, Sitka, 24.57. 3, Ellie Mercer, Eagle River, 24.89. 4, Brooke Dittlinger, Dimond, 25.06.

Diving — 1, Carrie Mayer, Wasilla, 437.05. 2, Jenna Walch, Dimond, 397.75. 3, Tyler Coffman, Palmer, 387.55. 4, Grace Greene, Hutchison, 372.85.

100 yard butterfly — 1, Kiara Borchardt, Eagle River, 57.47. 2, Breckynn Willis, Dimond, 57.71. 3, Summer Cheng, South, 58.85. 4, Sophia Schwantes, Sitka, 1:00.00.

100 yard freestyle — 1, Dreamer Kowatch, Dimond, 52.63. 2, Katy McCarter, Lathrop, 52.88. 3, Shelby Thompson, Chugiak, 54.29. 4, Samantha Bristor, West Valley, 54.43.

500 yard freestyle — 1, McKenzie Fazio, Eagle River, 5:11.73. 2, Grace Harang, Sitka, 5:17.41. 3, Emma Gassman, Sitka, 5:17.71. 4, Cassidy Welsh, Hutchinson, 5:18.65.

200 yard freestyle relay — 1, Dimond (Dreamer Kowatch, Mikayla Terry, Brooke Dittlinger, Breckynn Willis), 1:38.86. 2, Eagle River, 1:39.65. 3, Homer, 1:41.38. 4, West Valley, 1:42.89.

100 yard backstroke — 1, Ellie Mercer, Eagle River, 56.77. 3, Heidi Billings, West Valley, 57.70. 3, Summer Cheng, South, 59.60. 4, Victoria Schachle, Monroe, 1:01.63.

100 yard breaststroke — 1, Lydia Jacoby, Seward, 1:00.61 (new state record). 2, Madison Story, Homer, 1:03.57. 3, Patty Eppingher, West Valley, 1:06.62. 4, Jasmine Biederman, Colony, 1:07.08.

400 yard freestyle relay — 1, Dimond (Breckynn Willis, Mikayla Terry, Hannah Boyce, Dreamer Kowatch), 3:37.40. 2, Sitka, 3:41.07. 3, West Valley, 3:42.55. 4, Thunder Mountain, 3:43.85.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or

More in Sports

Carlos Boozer, a former Juneau high school basketball player and retired NBA all-star, talks with a student at his basketball camp in Juneau in 2017. (Nolin Ainsworth/Juneau Empire File)
Carlos Boozer memoir includes full life story, Juneau years

NBA star and hometown hero pens “Every Shot Counts”

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé volleyball team faces off against Bartlett High School during bracket play in the 2023 West Spiketacular Tournament in Anchorage on Saturday. JDHS won the play-in match to get to the final four in the Bronze Bracket, but lost its subsequent game in straight sets. (Screenshot from video by JDHS volleyball)
Juneau’s teams fall short in 2023 West Spiketacular Tournament in Anchorage

TMHS goes 9-3, JDHS 0-12 in pool play; both local teams knocked out early in bracket rounds.

Juneau senior Eric Tipton (88) levels Anchorage South wide receiver Landon Drumm during Saturday’s game at Adair-Kennedy Field. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Huskies go South, lose regular season finale 46-0

Juneau, last place at 0-7 in conference, faces top-seed Anchorage West in playoffs.

Runners start the combined DI/DII Region V Boys Cross Country Championship race on Saturday at Treadwell Mine Trails. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
JDHS, Sitka sweep region XC titles

Cross-country champions cite strong team chemistry.

High school boys sprint after the starting gun fires during the Sayeik Invitational on Douglas on Aug. 26. Students from Southeast Alaska schools are scheduled to meet at the same site Saturday for the Region V cross-country champions. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau hosts Region V cross-country championships

Top high school runners in Southeast will vie for state berths Saturday.

Food has so much more value if you get it yourself and few things taste better than fresh game meat. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Freezer full of fun

My wife added a little sugar, but not so much that the… Continue reading

A Ketchikan High School volleyball player, at left, unsuccessfully tries to hit the ball over the net, giving Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé the decisive winning point in a game Saturday during the Southeast Super Slamma Jamma Volleyball Tournament in Sitka. JDHS, after winning the opening game of the lower-ranking Coho Division in Saturday’s tournament, lost the division championship game to Homer High School in straight sets. (Screenshot from Mount Edgecumbe High School video of tournament)
JDHS, TMHS both claim victories of sorts at Sitka tournament

For previously winless Crimson Bears, advancing to a title game marks a step forward.

Juneau’s Anthony Garcia (22) carries the ball deep into West Anchorage High School territory to set up the Huskies’ first touchdown early in the third quarter during Saturday’s game in Anchorage. (Screenshot from Juneau Huskies football livestream video)
Depleted Huskies lose at West Anchorage 59-21

JV players make up one-third of Juneau’s squad during matchup against top team in conference.

Juneau’s two high school volleyball teams, Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé, face off last Saturday at TMHS as they go through polar opposite seasons this year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau’s volleyball teams going in opposite directions entering tournament play

TMHS is undefeated, JDHS winless as teams begin three-day Sitka competition.

Most Read