NWAC dominates Anacortes swim meet

Spurred by five swimmers earning high-point awards, the North Whidbey Aquatic Club captured the Anacortes Challenge Jan. 15 and 16 at the Fidalgo Pool.

The Aquajets piled up 6,100.5 points to top three other teams, Golds Aquatic Club of Woodinville (4,711.5), Bellingham Bay Swim Team (2,997.5) and Thunderbird Aquatic Club of Anacortes (2,514.5).

The Aquajets who earned high-point honors in their respective divisions were Frances Empinado (girls 8u), Jerrin Concepcion (boys 8u), Ethan Tack (boys 9-10), Marissa Morris (girls 11-12) and Emily Huffer (girls 13-14).

Tack set team records in the 50 back (32.87), 50 breast (37.88) and 50 fly (29.93).

Empinado was selected as NWAC Swimmer of the Meet. She swam 100 percent individual and relay PRs, improved by an average of eight seconds per 50 yards raced and established new Pacific Northwest Swimming Gold times in the girls 8-and-under 25 breast (26.58), 25 fly (21.07), 100 individual medley (1:50.84) and 50 back (45.40).

Eighteen NWAC members recored 100 percent individual personal bests: Ridgely Briddell, Mandy Brighton, Cedric Cabigting, Empinado, Mariel Empinado, Michael Johnson, Julia Krishtal, Michael McGinnis, Alex Mueller, Rachel Mueller, Geraldine Ramos, Andrea Ruben, Emily Schroeder, Harrison Tack, Caleb Thompson, Michael Uttmark, Lauren Vagt and Nicole Vogt.

Relay PRs were produced by Taliah Black, Briddell, Brighton, Cabigting, Angele Dennen, Sophia Dickinson, Sydney Dickinson, Frances Empinado, Samantha Hines, Brighton Jensen, Josh Jepsen, Clayton Livermore, Ramos, Andrea Ruben, Schroeder, Maira Sulin, Thompson, Micah Thompson, Alexander Toney, Uttmark, Brett Vagt, Lauren Vagt, Brannigan Vogt, Kelsey Vogt, Derek Volk, Reilly Walton, Cole Weinstein and Toren Wood.

Perfect combined PRs were recorded by Briddell, Brighton, Cabigting, Rachel Crowther, Frances Empinado, Ramos, Ruben, Schroeder, Uttmark and Lauren Vagt.

Crowther, Dennen, Alex Mueller, Ramos, Ruben, Lucas Tack, Micah Thompson, Uttmark, Brannigan Vogt and Kelsey Vogt earned Silver times.

New Gold times were clocked by Black, Cabigting, Irysh Concepcion, Jerrin Concepcion, Frances Empinado, Mariel Empinado, Hines, Joey Jepsen, Angela Johnson, Krishtal, McGinnis, Ashleigh Merrill, Mary Middleton, Rachel Mueller, Jillian Pape, Ella Schroeder, Hannah Schroeder, Maira Sulin, Jacob Thompson, Alex Thompson, Brett Vagt, Lauren Vagt, Nicole Vogt and Lawrence Zapanta.

Black also recorded a new PNS time.

New Age Group Sectional times were posted by Kelly Huffer and Morris, while Emily Huffer set a new Western Zone Championships time.

The Aquajets next compete at the Jan. 20 to 23 Washington Open in Federal Way against teams from the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California and British Columbia. The club will field a team of nine athletes.

The North Whidbey Aquatic Club is a competitive swimming program of the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District. It includes swimmers of all abilities and ages from 6 through college.

Tryouts occur Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the city pool from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. New swimmers should be able to swim a length of the pool in freestyle and backstroke.

The first two weeks are free.

For more information, please call the pool (765-7665) to speak with head coach Neil Romney or view the team’s website at

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