State Champion SoHi Swim Teams honored by Borough Assembly

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2002

The many regional championship flags that adorn the wall of the Soldotna High School swimming pool attest to the continuing dedication and commitment of the coaches and students over the years at SoHi. A program of developing swimmers at a young age that was started by Coach Steve Johnston and continued by Coach Sohail Marey has paid great dividends. SoHi broke the glass ceiling and claimed their first Boys Team State Championship in 1993. This year the Girls Team took their first State Title with top finishes in the 50 Yard Freestyle, 100 Yard Butterfly, 200 Yard Freestyle Relay, and 200 Yard Medley Relay. "It was quite an accomplishment for the girls to bring the first state championship banner to SoHi. They've been working very hard for the last four years. This has been a goal some of the girls set for themselves as freshmen and they accomplished what they wanted to do. These champions commit far more than 3 months a year to swimming they all swim during the off-season. Most of them started swimming when they were 7 & 8 years old swimming with the Silver Salmon Swimming Club," said Coach Sohail Marey, who has been named Swimming Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. "I had always dreamt of bringing another State Championship to SoHi, but bringing home two was more than I could have ever hoped for. It took me a couple of days to settle down and really look at what the team had accomplished," added Marey.


Assembly President Pete Sprague congratulates SoHi Swim Coach Sohail Marey and members of the SoHi Girls and Boys State Champion Swim Team.

At last weeks Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, the Assembly unanimously passed Resolutions commending both the SoHi Girls and Boys Swimming Teams. The SoHi Boys bringing their second State Championship banner home by sharing first place honors with the Juneau-Douglas boys team at the State Swimming and Diving Championships held at Bartlett High School in Anchorage. The SoHi Boys with top finishes also in the 50 and 100 Yard Freestyle, and 200 and 400 Yard Freestyle Relays. "We knew that in order for the boys to have a shot a winning the championship we needed the relays, and two of our boys sacrificed their individual events to help the team win the relays, and that was the reason for our winning," said Coach Marey.

"We've been dreaming about this ever since we were 10 years old, doing great in high school and maybe winning a state championship, but it was hard to believe when it actually happened," said Karina Peterson, whose brother Lucas still holds the State record for the Butterfly. The SoHi Girls State Championship team was made up of Jenna Syverson, Abby Kiffmeyer, Eve Green, Keely Chavka, Amberlee Query, and Karina Peterson. The Boys Team was comprised of Ty Mann-Schweigert, Nick Sorrell, Clayton Harrison, Leo Grasso, and Aladean Marey.


Members of the SoHi State Co-Champion Swim Team at the KPB Assembly Chambers

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