Swim Team Hopes for Seven Straight State Titles

The Dimond High School boys swim team has swum their way to six state titles, six years in a row.

Of the 38 years swimming has been an Anchorage School District sport, 21 first or second-place state titles have belonged to Dimond High School. According to ASAA record books, thirteen of those were first-place trophies.

At the moment, DHS has a six-year streak, tied with Service High School, who went six years straight with a state title between 1987-1992.

Jarod O’Brien said, “Service holds six state titles, we are hoping to beat that.”

According to O’Brien, a record breaking swimmer and senior at DHS, Dimond has only lost one meet in his four years on the swim team. Their goal is to continue that for as long as they possibly can. There are only a couple of teams in the state that have a chance at competing with this team.

Along with six state titles, Dimond is famous for their record-breaking athletes. Michael Summers broke the oldest high school swimming record in 2013, lifting the Lynx to one of the state titles that led to this six-year streak.

O’Brien has also broken the state records in the 100 Breast and 50 Freestyle. His new goal is to beat Matt Summers’ record in the 200 Individual Medley (IM).

Even though, the Anchorage schools do not offer much competition, Swimming manager Elizabeth Randall spoke of the competitive nature between Kodiak, Juneau-Douglas and Dimond.

Between 2011-2013, Dimond overpowered Sitka for the state title, varying from final score differences from 72 points to getting as close as 3 points from the state title in 2013. Last year, 2014, Dimond took the first place position by 14 points, while Juneau remained in second.

O’Brien, Jack Hoen and Kyle Bremont are all seniors going into the 2015 season, and speak of the success of the team in similar ways. They once belonged to a team that O’Brien described as, “giant, muscular guys, who were huge role models and everybody looked up to.”

Even though the athlete dynamic has changed, as O’Brien said, “We are all family. You can count on anyone for anything.”

When speaking about the team, Hoen and O’Brien, both senior captains, speak of the team as a huge family.

When talking about their success, Hoen stated that they owe the majority of their success to “the coach and his ability to coach us really well and because of the swimmers and their dedication.”

That coach is Scott O’Brien. His philosophy on coaching the talented team is for the athletes to work hard while having fun.

O’Brien said, “Success is based on talent, hard work, and a commitment to each other.”

Randall also spoke of the team’s commitment to working hard for each other.

She said, “There is a large feeling of camaraderie that contributes to the team’s success. Everyone is very competitive with each other, but they are also genuinely supportive of individual successes.”

“It is a lot of pressure to continue the streak and not be the team that ends it.”