Dimond standout swimmers Borke, Boyce sign to next level

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 9:29 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A dream that started with floaties in the pools of Anchorage landed with a splash as friends and family gathered in the Dimond High Schools commons to celebrate two accomplished swimmers continuing their careers and education in college.

One was Isabelle Borke, who is heading to the University of Idaho’s Division I program, while the other was Hannah Boyce, who will join Div. II Minnesota State at Mankato.

Borke — Dimond’s 100-yard breaststroke record holder — never had any fear in the pool when it came to competition.

”The one thing with Isabelle — she is not afraid of anything,” Dimond head swim coach Scott O’Brien said.

Borke often raced those of different ages, genders, and skill levels to make waves in the waters.

”I always raced people in practice so putting that mindset and racing everybody, even if they’re better than me, or just having something to push your to do your best,” the two-time 50-yard freestyle state champion said.

As for Boyce, being the ultimate team player in an individual sport led to her to compete at the NCAA level.

”There is not a person I would want finishing a relay, or somebody you can count on, because she is going to give you everything she’s got, because she puts the team first,” O’Brien said of Boyce.

Boyce was rewarded as a multi-time state champion in relays and a collegiate scholarship.

”I definitely took away how to be the best teammate I could possibly be,” Boyce said. “My freshman year I was really lucky to have some really great leaders, so I just kind of learned through the years, and then all of a sudden, senior year I was a captain myself and I knew how to step up and try to motivate everyone and try to have the most fun season we could.”

As both Lynx swimmers go their separate ways, they will forever be linked by the Alaskan pools.

”Alaska is smaller and everybody goes to Bartlett for the big meets, you kind of just know everybody. Waiting in line for the blocks it is always like, ‘You’ve got this, we’re in it together,’” Borke said of the swim community.

”Everybody knows everybody,” Boyce added. “Actually, another school I was touring, a girl from Fairbanks got word and she knew me and so when I went to visit, she showed me around and everything ... I am just really excited to see what everyone does.”

Boyce plans to study Psychology at Mankato while Borke is still undecided, though she boasts a 4.17 GPA in the classroom.