7 straight: NWAC wins Thunderbird Invitational

The North Whidbey Aquatic Club continued its dominance of the Thunderbird Invitational by winning the Fidalgo Pool event for the seventh consecutive year Oct. 1 and 2.

The Aquajets piled up 4,897 points, followed by the host Thunderbirds with 3,868 and the Marysville Marlins with 2,584.

NWAC was led by girls 15-and-over high-point winner and NWAC Swimmer of the Meet Laura Rosen.

Rosen won seven individual events, took part on two winning relays and swam to seven personal records. Her PRs included a 2:10.52 in the 200 individual medley, a 54.91 in the 100 freestyle and a 1:01.23 in the 100 IM.

She also swam on a team record-setting 400 medley relay (4:08.71) with Emily Huffer, Ciara Hu and Marissa Morris.

Other Aquajet high-point winners included Ashleigh Merrill, Lawrence Zapanta, Jerrin Concepcion, Olivia Tungate, Kelly Huffer and Emily Huffer.

Events winners were Emily Huffer, Kelly Huffer, Ashleigh Merrill, Rosen, Jacob Thompson, Tungate and Zapanta.

Aquajets who recorded 100 percent individual event personal bests included Taliah Black, Merrill, Ella Schroeder, Emily Schroeder, Christy Thompson, Jacob Thompson, Bruce Vagt and Cole Weinstein.

Those who swam to 100 percent relay PRs were Bon Bainco, Josh Byers, Carl Davis, Caitlin Dennen, Sam Hines, Joey Jepsen, Kenzie Judd, Clayton Livermore, Morris, Michelle Robinson, Rosen, Andrea Ruben, Emily Schroeder, Noah Schroeder, Christy Thompson, Jacob Thompson, Tungate, Brett Vagt, Bruce Vagt, Lauren Vagt, Shamus Warden, Weinstein and Zapanta.

AJ Dennen, Frances Empinado, Mariel Empinado, Joe Gorman, Hines, Kenzie Judd, Micah Thompson and Zapanta earned Pacific Northwest Swim gold cuts; Christy Thompson earned a silver cut.

PNS championship cuts were achieved by Bainco, Black, Concepcion, Morris and Jacob Thompson.

Age-group sectional cuts went to Kelly Huffer and Olivia Tungate.

Kelly Huffer (58.17) and Marissa Morris (58) made the minute club.

NWAC next competes at the Bellingham Challenge Oct. 15 and 16, where it will field a team of 60 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 4:25 to 5:10 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 (675-7665) to speak with head coach Neil Romney or visit the team website at



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