Fall prep preview | Oak Harbor swim

The nucleus of the Oak Harbor High School swim and dive team will consist of five veterans of the state meet.

Therese Desquitado, Mollie Briddell, Nicole Vagt and Irysh Concepcion all represented the Wildcats at state in 2011. Also returning after missing last season with an injury is senior Akasha Trisler, who qualified for state in 2010 in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.

The quintet will get a boost from sophomore Emily Huffer, joining the high-school team for the first time after posting times as a member of the North Whidbey Aquatic Club that meet state-qualifying high-school standards.

Four other letter winners are back from last fall’s team which finished with a 7-6 regular-season record: Tricia Desquitado, Sarah Baxter, Allison Hoffmire and Danae Nash.

In addition of Huffer, another key newcomer, according to coach Amy Merkley, is Lauren Vagt.

Six other experienced swimmers who are new to the program or returning after missing last year are Makenzi Schulle, Kennedy Trisler, Elise Still, Sophie Dickinson, Mariel Empinado and Marissa Morris.

Merkley said, “We have a lot of depth going into this season and will look to place in the top three at districts and have a successful dual meet season.”

The Wildcats, however, will be hurt by the lack of divers. Merkley said, “At this point we do not have a volunteer dive coach and have no one training for that event.”

Oak Harbor travels to Marysville-Pilchuck for the North Division Jamboree at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, and then hosts Edmonds-Woodway at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10.

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