Fast start for swimmers

Only one week into the season, and the Oak Harbor boys swim team already has two non-league wins under their belts.

Tuesday the Cats downed Bellingham in a 102-85 dual meet win.

“It was a great meet. I was really impressed with how the guys swam and how we won,” said head coach Emillie Sullivan of the win, adding, “It was close early on, but our divers took first, third and fourth, so the dive points helped.”

Thursday, the Cats kept their pace as they pulled the drag down on Sedro-Woolley and Burlington-Edison in a tri-meet. They topped Sedro-Woolley 111-57 and Burlington-Edison fell 120-34.

Even while shifting the line-up in the relays to see which pieces of the relay machine work together best, all three Oak Harbor relay teams nabbed the first place slots. The 200 medley team of Aaron Ridle, Russell Chesnut, Josh Walkuw and Andrew Bressler swam 2:19.72. The 200 medley of Walkuw, Hunter, Josh Luttrell and Ciminski swam 1:50.47. And the 400 free relay team of Hall, Chesnut, Berkimer and Davis also claimed first place with a time of 4:58.55.

During the tri-meet Ciminski claimed first place in the 100 breast with a time of 1:12.37, just one second off state qualifying time in the event. Freshman Russell Chesnut placed second with a time of 1:27.77.

Across the event board, the Wildcats gave a one-two punch for the top spots. Ciminski and Walkuw swam 2:26.45 and 2:43.13 respectively in the 200 individual medley. In the 50 free Luttrell swam 28.02 and Andrew Bressler swam 30.72 swam for first and second place. In the 100 free freshman Matt Bender and Chesnut went one-two with 1:07.92 and 1:09.67. Going the distance in the 500 free, Hunter swam into first with 5:54.27 with his closest competitor being teammate freshman Dave Runkle in at 7:42.97.

In the diving competition, Oak Harbor was the only school of the three to have divers competing. Claiming the top three spots were Shepard 136.80, Lovell 129.05 and Gonzales 117.55. Senior Tim Harasti’s score of 76.20 was for exhibition only.

According to senior captain Andrew Bressler, the Wildcats are lucky to add depth to their squad with a number of swimmers who also compete year-round for the North Whidbey Aquatic Club.

“Having year round swimmer factors in a lot, because you can tell in the other teams that don’t have a year-round swimming program to feed from,” Bressler said.

Those year-round swimmers include upperclassmen of which Bressler says, “We’ve got some great returning athletes.” But they also include underclassmen who are showing their presence early.

“I’m impressed with how the freshman are doing. They’re really bringing in the points and dropping time,” Sullivan said.

Already, Bressler and his team have set their goals high, “We’d like to take league and districts this year as a team.”

The Cats travel to Anacortes Tuesday, and compete at home Dec. 12 against Snohomish.

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