Spencer Holt knew that if he raced up to his potential, he could tear down not just one, but two state records while swimming in last weekend’s Alaska Junior Olympic Championships.
The 18-year-old was one of several dozen Glacier Swim Club youth who qualified for the state meet April 25-28 at Bartlett High School in Anchorage. The four-day event marked the unofficial end to the club swimming season for more than 20 teams across the state.
Holt, who is homeschooled through the Raven program and looking to join Colorado Mesa University’s team next year, said it was a fulfilling meet.
“It was pretty incredible,” Holt said by phone on Thursday afternoon. “It was quite rewarding after putting in all the effort.”
The butterfly specialist won six of his seven individual races. Holt’s 100- and 200-yard butterfly times — 48.77 seconds and 1 minute, 47.39 seconds — were the fastest ever swam by an Alaskan in a sanctioned meet. Coincidentally, the two previous state record holders in those events were also from Juneau: Nick Rutecki (48.98 in 2013) and Cody Brunette (1:49.91 in 2011).
“I knew there was a very good chance that I could do it if I didn’t get sick or if I had good swims,” Holt said. “Everything fell into place and it actually happened this time. I tried to get them in December and I ended up getting sick and that didn’t work out, so it worked out this month.”
Holt beat the next fastest swimmer by over 10 seconds in the 200 butterfly, an impressive margin for that distance.
“I knew I could get the 200 butterfly (record) because that’s more of my event,” Holt said. “The 100 fly was a toss of a coin whether I was going to go with the time I wanted to or not.”
As a team, GSC proved to be one of the best in the state, scoring 3,055 total points to come in second place. Aurora Swim Club, of Anchorage, took home the team title with 3,086 points while Northern Lights Swim Club came in third with 2,877 points.
Scores of other Juneau youth also wore the victor’s crown. Those swimmers included Matthew Plang (11-12), Emma Fellmon (11-12), Chaz VanSlyke (13-14) and Caleb Peimann (15 and older), among others. The meet’s events were classified by age groups: 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14 and 15 and over.