Sports

Swim team sets state goals

Members  of the Oak Harbor swim team take a quick break at the deep end of John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool during an afternoon practice session. The Wildcats return anumber of talented swimmers in 2008 and should challenge for the WesCo League championship.  - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Members of the Oak Harbor swim team take a quick break at the deep end of John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool during an afternoon practice session. The Wildcats return anumber of talented swimmers in 2008 and should challenge for the WesCo League championship.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

Setting high goals before the season begins such as reaching the state finals is possible when you have a talented team returning.

That is exactly the situation third-year head coach Erika Miller has with the Oak Harbor High School girls swim team.

The Wildcats return nine swimmers with varsity experience from the 2007 team, along with three newcomers who have gained years of experience with the North Whidbey Aquatic Club.

“We’re going to have a good time this year,” Miller said. “We always have a good time, sometimes it’s better than others.”

Oak Harbor is led by senior captains Carolyn Vanquez and KeriAnne Wright.

Both ladies are versatile swimmers capable of competing in several events including the individual medley, the butterfly, sprint freestyle races and relays.

Joining the pair of seniors are juniors Maddie Shipley, Lily Doyle and Kirsten Ross.

Shipley swims the breaststroke and butterfly events, Doyle swims the backstroke, and Ross is a freestyle specialist, and all three swim on the relay teams.

“I have a good team with a nice bunch of girls,” Miller said. Every one of them is a hard worker.”

Sophomore Rachel Weinstein is one of the top breaststroke swimmers in the WesCo North and also competes on the relay teams, while sophomores Tori Nickerson, Marie Hossfeld and Abby Rankin are top competitors in the freestyle sprint races, the breaststroke and the relays.

New this year are freshmen Ciara Hu and Karina Concepcion, along with sophomore Amanda Streubel, all veterans of the North Whidbey Aquajets’ team.

“We decided we want to make the state meet this year which we didn’t last year,” Miller said. “We had some fast swims, but they all were on different days. With the girls we have coming back along with the three newcomers who are pretty fast, we should be able to do it.”

Right now, the team is looking forward to the Marysville Jamboree Sept. 9.

“It’s a fun kind of meet where you get to know other teams and have fun,” Miller said. “It’s a real blast.”

Oak Harbor hosts Lake Stevens in its first home meet Thursday, Sept. 25, at 3:00 p.m.

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