Unalaska Swimmer Competes At State, Ending Decade-Long Drought

Nov 3, 2016

Freshman Adam Nguyen (at left) will compete at the state championship this weekend. He'll swim in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.
Credit D. Tyrell McGirt

Unalaska ha​sn't sent a swimmer to the state competition in more than a decade, but that drought is about to end.

Freshman Adam Nguyen is competing in two events at the championship in Juneau this weekend. 

He qualified for the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke at the regional meet last month, but he said it wasn't an easy task.

"If you don't get first at regions, you have to be in the top 16 in the entire state of Alaska," said Nguyen. "I placed fourteenth."

He also set a new personal best in backstroke and nearly broke his own freestyle record.

"It makes me happy and excited," he said. "But my goal this season was to make state, so I guess those just came with meeting my goal."

Nguyen's success bodes well for the future of Unalaska's swim team, according to Coach D. Tyrell McGirt.

In the past, McGirt said it's been tough for the small program to compete with larger schools around the state, but that's slowly chan​ging.

"At this point, the kids on our high school team have all been swimming since kindergarten, and Unalaska is just now starting to be super competitive," said McGirt. "I predict within the next three years, we'll be sending a lot more kids to state."