Nome Northstar Swim Team sends 10 swimmers to 2018 Chinook Winter Splash
Ten Nome Northstar Swim Team members accompanied by swim coach Kristin Riall travelled to Anchorage last weekend to participate in the 2018 Chinook Winter Splash at the Bartlett Natatorium at Bartlett High School, held on January 12 and 13. The meet was hosted by the Chugiak Aquatics Club.
The huge 50-meter pool was separated into two 25-yard sections to accommodate holding boys and girls events at the same time. The Nome team was the only bush team present and competed against the Anchorage YMCA Swim Team, the Chugiak Aquatics Club, Northern Lights Swim Club and the Aurora Swim Team, all from Anchorage or surrounding region.
The events were timed in age groups and included back stroke, individual medley, breast stroke, freestyle and butterfly in various lengths.
The Nome contingent arrived early for warmups and the swimmers had to get used to the chlorinated pool, unlike the Nome pool which uses sea salt for sanitizing the water. Nome’s team also brought the youngest swimmers to the meet, as six-year-olds Rohn Peacock and Brittney Payenna got their first taste of competing outside of Nome. Rohn Peacock brought glory to the NNST and placed fifth in the 25-yard backstroke for boys aged 8 and under. Rohn swam the event in 30.59 seconds. His brother Granite Peacock also made the Northstars shine, placing fourth in the 25-yards free style event for boys 8 and under, swimming the event in 24.18 sec.
As soon as the two were done swimming, they hit the icy city roads to drive to Palmer for a basketball tournament that started in the afternoon of January 13 and continued on Jan. 14.
Eight-year-old Ayla Kavairlook also scored a top five performance, placing fifth in the 25-yard backstroke competition for girls aged 8 and under.
Jon Smith also showd strong swimming and improved his personal best butterfly 50-yard swim by six seconds. He plowed through the water, seemingly not needing air to breathe. When coach Riall asked him after the event if he took a breath at all during the first 25 yards, he dryly said, “Twice.”
Kristin Riall said after the meet that this was the team's first meet outside of Nome this year and the first meet ever for a lot of the NNSt swimmers.
“Both our freshman and veteran swimmers performed quite strongly, with some significant improvements in times. Jon Smith and the Peacock brothers were the stars of the meet.
Jon took reduced his 50-yard butterfly time by 6 seconds.
Granite and Rohn, both first year swimmers, were highly competitive in all of their events. For a team that is one tenth of the size of our competitors, we performed well and are looking forward to a rematch in three weeks.”
The team is next traveling to the 2018 Sweetheart Invite, held at Bartlett Pool in Anchorage from February 2 through Feb. 4.
The last meet of the season will then be the regional championships held in Fairbanks in April.