Athletes compete in a swim event Saturday afternoon at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Athletes compete in a swim event Saturday afternoon at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Records broken at weekend high school swim meet in Juneau

JDHS and TMHS coaches share optimism as season progresses.

This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Rhys Jackson’s name.

It might be early in the high school swim and dive season this year in Southeast Alaska, but Juneau athletes are already making a splash at previously held records.

The Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé swim and dive teams hosted their first home competition of the season during the weekend. Teams traveled from all around Southeast Alaska including Craig, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka and Wrangell. More than 100 students participated in the competition, according to meet director Brooke Schwarting.

During the two-day event, TMHS girls edged the competition both Friday and Saturday, but were closely followed by JDHS girls. Ketchikan boys took the lead both days, earning more than double the number of points as TMHS in second place on Friday and again handily leading on Saturday.

TMHS head coach Josiah Loseby said he was happy with the team’s strong overall performances so early in the season.

“We had really strong swims and really strong dives, and I think that carried us forward,” he said. “I think there was a lot more mental capacity that was freed up to be able to really focus on themselves, their races, their dives, and then being there to support their teammates, both before and after their swimming and diving.”

Loseby said this year is the biggest team TMHS has ever had with 32 swimmers and divers joining the team — six of whom are seniors. Both TMHS and JDHS already competed in Sitka earlier this season. Loseby said even during that first meet athletes were already swimming close to their all-time personal best times and in some instances breaking them.

Loseby said TMHS senior PJ Foy has already broken his own record in the 500-yard freestyle, a record he previously set in 2021. Freshman Amy Liddle broke the girls’ 500-yard freestyle record, previously held by her sister Nancy Liddle since 2019.

Loseby said TMHS divers have also been having great performances, with standout divers during the weekend being Rhys Jackson and Travis Morgan, both sophomores.

“Travis Morgan is a new diver to our team this year, and he was throwing a lot of really high-difficulty dives and scoring well with them too, so that was fun to see,” he said. “This was Rhys’ first meet this season and he had a really strong first meet.”

Loseby said he’s excited for what the future holds as the season continues.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the hard work that we put forth every morning and every afternoon culminate into those performances come to the region and state championships,” he said. “It’s such a short season, but there’s a lot of love and a lot of care and a lot of support that we all give each other on the team, and that really just makes the whole process really worth it.”

JDHS head coach Seth Cayce agreed and said his team of 22 swimmers proved to be strong competitors over the weekend despite losing some of its top senior racers from last season.

“I thought we did pretty well — it’s always fun swimming in one of our home pools and it’s always fun to compete in the areas that you’re used to,” he said. “We learned a lot and we’ve got a number of things to correct. I like to use these regular season meets as a chance to fine-tune our strokes and our tempos and how we race. Everyone was doing a pretty good job of that so far this weekend.”

Cayce said some of the top performers were sophomore Valerie Peimann, junior Emma Fellman and senior Samantha Schwarting. He said JDHS did not have any athletes come out for diving this year.

“I’d say they definitely are kind of the leaders of the girls’ team in terms of talent,” he said. “The girls got their eyes set on a top two or three finish at state this year, which hasn’t been done since 2016, but that’s definitely a possibility.”

Cayce said he’s most excited about watching new athletes grow into better swimmers as the season progresses.

“We’ve got a bunch of new swimmers and just the progressions that the new swimmers have made just from two weeks ago, it was a pleasant surprise,” he said.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at or (651) 528-1807.

More in Sports

A Rufous hummingbird hovers near a glass hummingbird feeder filled with homemade liquid food. Keeping the feeder clean is important to prevent mold, bacteria and disease. (Photo by Kerry Howard)
Hummingbirds buzz back to Juneau

How to care for backyard feeders.

Clairee Overson (#8) kicks the ball downfield for Thunder Mountain High School during Monday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé at Adair-Kennedy Field. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Undefeated JDHS girls soccer team defeats winless TMHS 8-1

Crimson Bears’ second-half scoring spree gives both teams lessons to learn from and build on

The Juneau Capitals after winning the 12-and-under Class A Alaska State Hockey Association state championship. (Steve Quinn / For the Juneau Empire)
Juneau Capitals win six straight to claim 12U-A state hockey title

Backed by a powerful offensive lineup, strong defensive play and timely goaltending,… Continue reading

A beach marmot carries nest material to its den. (Photo by Jos Bakker)
On the Trails: Spring is really happening

A spate of fine, sunny weather in mid-April was most welcome. Those… Continue reading

La Perouse Glacier in Southeast Alaska retreats from a campsite in summer 2021. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Number of Alaska glaciers is everchanging

A glaciologist once wrote that the number of glaciers in Alaska “is… Continue reading

An outdoor basketball hoop is seen in Bethel in October 2022. Alaskans will be able to play only on sports teams that match their gender at birth through college if a new bill becomes law. (Photo by Claire Stremple)
Alaska House committee advances, expands proposal to bar trans girls from girls sports

Bill adds elementary, middle school and collegiate sports to limits in place for high school.

Utah’s Alissa Pili, right, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected eighth overall by the Minnesota Lynx during the first round of the WNBA basketball draft on Monday in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Alaska’s Alissa Pili selected by Minnesota Lynx as eighth pick in WNBA Draft

Two-time All-American is fifth Alaskan to be drafted, third to go in the top 10.

Pseudoscorpions are very small predators of springtails and mites. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Intertidal explorations

A bit of exploration of the rocky intertidal zone near Shaman Island… Continue reading

The author’s wife fights a steelhead while the author contemplates fly selection. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: The fear of missing fish

Student: “You know, FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out” Me: “I know… Continue reading

Most Read