Talented Wildcats team ready to swim

In her second season as head coach of the Oak Harbor High School girls swim team, Erika Miller said she has a number of talented, young swimmers on the team including several promising freshmen.

“I think I have about 24 in all and they believe we are going to have a good season. I do, too,” Miller said.

Leading the way for Oak Harbor are senior KeriAnne Wright, junior Carolyn Vasquez and sophomore Kim Klieman.

All three have state meet experience and swam on last season’s 200-meter freestyle relay team.

Miller said Carolyn has dedicated herself to doing the backstroke on the medley relay team this season. She will also swim the freestyle events and the individual medley.

Wright is primarily going to be the Wildcats’ butterfly swimmer and she will also be doing the freestyle events and the individual medley.

“Carolyn will do the backstroke for us on the medley relay team

because we have freshman Rachel Weinstein on the team this year,” Miller said. “She will and also swim freestyle races and the individual medley. Kim is going to be our sprint freestyle swimmer.”

Other talented freshman in addition to Weinstein are Tori Nickerson and Marie Hossfeld. All three are members of the North Whidbey Aquatic Club and have been swimming in meets most of the spring and summer.

“Rachel swims the breaststroke and she is a good, well-rounded swimmer that can do just about anything,” Miller said. “Cory is another all-around swimmer, set to do primarily the freestyle and butterfly and Marie is a good breaststroke and backstroke swimmer. She is also and all-around swimmer.”

Other returnees from last year’s team are Maddie Shipley, Lily Doyle, Kira Holola, Alexa Ennis and Kirsten Ross, who all have varsity experience.

The Wildcats have a “personal” goal set for themselves this year.

“The deal I made is if they get two individuals and two relays to the state meet I get the paw print tattoo on my ankle,” Miller said. “They are looking forward to that. That’s our big goal and I think they will be able to reach it.”

Swim fans will have a lot of opportunities to watch the team this season as the Wildcats have seven home meets scheduled at John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool.

The Wildcats opened the season on the road at Mariner Sept. 6 and came away with a dominating 126-43 victory.

Weinstein swam district qualifying times of 2:12.04 and 5:57.68, respectively in the 200 and 500

freestyles and Vazquez also qualified in the 200 freestyle with a clocking of 2:17.39.

Wright also qualified for the district meet in two events, She swam the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:30.54 and came back with a 1:09.28 finish in the 100 butterfly.

Nickerson is the fourth Oak Harbor swimmer headed to the district, qualifying in the 100 freestyle in a blistering time of 1:03.08.

The Wildcats travel to Stanwood for a meet Tuesday, Sept. 11, and host Shorecrest at 3p.m. Sept. 13.

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