Winter preview: Oak Harbor High School swim and dive

Six athletes who competed in the state meet last year will lead the Oak Harbor swim and dive team into the 2010-11 season.

Co-captains Price Hu and Brandon Vagt and Yale Rosen, Jacob Jepson, Josh Jepson and Ben Cardinal are the Wildcat state veterans.

They will be joined by returning lettermen Devin Schell, Michael McGinnis, Bon Jarik Bainco, Brett Vagt, John Kaltenbach, Cole Weinstein, Jaxon Wolfe, Judd Ford, Tucker Lundstrom, David Kusnik, Keaton Dieter and Matt Reith to form a squad coach Amy Nurvic sees as one of the area’s strongest.

Several newcomers led by Caley Powers will give the team needed depth.

The team’s strengths, according to Nurvic, are senior leadership and depth. She said, “Many of the seniors have qualified and/or swam in the state championship meet since their freshman year…It’s a shame we don’t have a league at this time, because with the number of good swimmers we have this year, I would have bet we could’ve taken Marysville-Pilchuck for Wesco North champs this season. (Marysville won the North the last two years).  At least we do face them again in a duel meet this year…I think we’ll get them.”

Marysville-Pilchuck defeated Oak Harbor in the final regular season meet last winter to determine the Wesco 4A North champion. The Wildcats will compete as a 3A school this year, and because there are very few 3A swim teams in Wesco, the conference will not have a strictly 3A division as in other sports.

She added, “Moving to 3A is a good thing for districts.  We have a shot of beating out Shorewood (last year’s 4A state champs) at districts.  District champs is in our reach.”

Nurvic is excited about the growth in her program with participation up to 50, a jump of nearly 20 swimmers from last year.

She said, “We are a growing program and attracting a lot of strong multi-sports athletes who normally don’t do anything in the winter.”

The team’s weaknesses, Nurvic said, are lane space and diving. The Wildcats share John Vanderzicht Pool with other groups and practice time is limited. Two days of the week her team is limited to two lanes for just over an hour.

She said, “I am getting creative and finding ways to use the kiddie pool when teaching new strokes and skills.”

Oak Harbor has “a wonderful volunteer dive coach (Janet Tipping),” Nurvic said, “but most guys are new to it…I’m hoping we can get at least one diver to districts this year.”

Nurvic said, “My expectations are that we will again have a winning season and finish well at districts and state…District champs and a top-10 finish at state are in our reach.”

Oak Harbor, which lost just one regular season meet in each of the past two years, opens the season Wednesday, Dec. 1, at John Vanderzicht Pool at 6 p.m. against Glacier Peak and Snohomish.

Oak Harbor High School Swim and Dive 2010-11

Date Opponent Site Time

Wed., Dec. 1 Glacier Peak/Snohomish Vanderzicht Pool 6 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 4 Mercer Island Vanderzicht Pool 10:15 a.m.

Tues., Dec. 7 Stanwood/Kamiak Kamiak 3 p.m.

Thurs., Dec. 9 Mount Vernon Mount Vernon TBD

Wed., Dec. 15 Jackson/Cascade Vanderzicht Pool 6 p.m.

Tues., Jan. 4 Lake Stevens Lake Stevens 3:15 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 8 District 1 diving Anacortes 2:30 p.m.

Tues., Jan. 11 Marysville-Pilchuck Marysville-Pilchuck 2:45 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 15 Kentridge Invitational KC Athletic Club TBD

Mon., Jan. 17 Shorecrest Vanderzicht Pool 6 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 22 District 1 diving Anacortes 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 11, 12 District Anacortes TBD

Feb. 18, 19 State King County Aquatic C. TBD

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