Swimmers stun Marysville

It may be Neil Romney’s first year coaching the Oak Harbor boys swim team, but he was well aware of the significance of what the Wildcats did at the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool Tuesday.

For the first time since the swimming program was formed in 1988, Oak Harbor defeated powerhouse Marysville-Pilchuck, 102-83, in a regular season dual meet.

“We had fun,” Romney said. “That was a big thrill for those kids.”

Prior to Tuesday, the Tomahawks were undefeated in league, looking to solidify at least a second place spot in the WesCo North.

Instead the Wildcats turned the tables, improving their league record to 5-1 and 10-1 overall, keeping second place all to themselves.

Oak Harbor started the meet off with a convincing win in the 200-meter medley relay. The group of Aaron Ridle, Kyle Ciminski, Jason Hunter and Josh Luttrell finished at 1:59.13, beating Marysville’s best by over nine seconds.

Matt Bender followed the relay victory with an upset in the 200-meter freestyle. Bender (2:12.89) edged out Michael Hodgins (2:12.97), who finished fifth at districts last year. Most impressively, Bender’s time was a five second lifetime best.

“Matt had a fantastic race,” Romney said.

Continuing their quick start, the Wildcat swimmers swept the Tomahawks in the next event, taking the first three places in the 200 individual medley. Hunter, Evan Wilson and Russell Chesnut almost buried any hopes Marysville had.

“Their coach told me after we swept the 200 IM that his team was pretty much devastated,” Romney said.

Other big Wildcat wins came from Hunter in the 100 butterfly and Ciminski in the 100-breaststroke. Both swimmers again surpassed the state qualifying times in their respective events.

Cameron Spence also picked up a first place finish in the 100 backstroke.

Oak Harbor had a rare Friday meet last night at Cascade and comes home for their final meet at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27 against Everett.

Oak Harbor 102, Marysville 83

200 medley relay-OH (Ridle, Ciminski, Hunter, Luttrell) 1:59.13; 200 freestyle-Bender (O) 2:12.13; 200 individual medley-Hunter (OH) 2:21.87; 50 freestyle-Garka (M) 24.42; Diving-Mueller (M) 189.2; 100 butterfly-Hunter (OH) 1:02.91; 100 freestyle-Ciminski (OH) 56.19; 500 freestyle-Garka (M) 5:48.19; 200 freestyle relay-OH (Ciminski, Luttrell, Hall, Hunter) 1:45.51; 100 backstroke-Spence (OH) 1:10.53; 100 breaststroke-Ciminski (OH) 1:11.03; 400 freestyle relay-Marysville (Schroeder, Griffin, Henninger, Garka ) 4:07.20.

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