Hu qualifies for U.S. Open Championships

Price Hu, left, Evan Wilson and John Hu explode from the blocks at the start of the boys 15-and-over 200 butterfly. - Photo courtesy of Neil Romney
Price Hu, left, Evan Wilson and John Hu explode from the blocks at the start of the boys 15-and-over 200 butterfly.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Neil Romney

North Whidbey Aquatic Club Aquajets competed at the Pacific Northwest Swimming Championships in Federal Way and were led by John Hu, who became the first NWAC athlete in six years and only the second Aquajet in history, to qualify for the United States Open Long-Course Swimming Championships.

This prestigious meet moves to a different location each year and attracts the top swimmers from all 50 states and many foreign countries, and includes many Olympians.

The 18-year-old Hu achieved his qualifying time in the boys 15-and-over 200-meter individual medley with a clocking of 2:07.98. As an 18-and-under athlete, his times in the 400 individual medley (4:33.32) and the 200 butterly (2:06.37) were also fast enough to qualify him for bonus swims at the Open Championships.

Only the top 0.2 percent, and only the top 0.1 percent of those swimmers 18 and under nationwide, qualify for the U.S. Open Championships.

In addition to Hu, other Aquajets had outstanding performances at the meet.

In the race for the boys 15-and-over high point award, NWAC athletes scored their first one-two placing ever with Evan Wilson outdistancing Hu, 125.50 points to 102.

Wilson placed in the top eight in all eight of his events ranging in distance from 100 to 1,500 meters. These events included four of the five competitive strokes.

Laura Rosen won the girls 13 and 14-year-old 400 and 800 freestyles in times of 4:37.39 and 9:32.77 respectively, and reached the finals in five other events.

In addition to Hu, Wilson and Rosen, other NWAC point scorers included Ryan Cuajunco, Emily Huffer, Kelly Huffer, Price Hu, Jacob Jepsen, Josh Jepsen, Marissa Morris, Dakota Powers, Mara Powers, Olivia Tungate and Molly Vagt.

Individual team records were set by nine different athletes, including Ryan Cuajunco, Emily Huffer, John Hu, Ciara Hu, Josh Jepsen, Laura Rosen, Olivia Tungate and Evan Wilson.

Relay team records were also recorded by the girls 10-and-under 200 medley team of Marissa Morris, Kelly Huffer, Molly Vagt and Mara Powers and 200 freestyle team composed of Morris, Huffer, Vagt and Olivia Tungate.

The girls 13 and 14-year-old 200 and 400 freestyle teams of Laura Rosen, Karina Concepcion, Therese Desquitado and Danae Nash; and the boys 15-and-over 200 freestyle and 200 medley teams of John Hu, Evan Wilson, Spencer Livermore, and Jacob Jepsen also set new Aquajet records.

Finally, the 400 freestyle and 400 medley teams John Hu, Wilson, Jepsen and Price Hu completed the record-setting meet.

NWAC Swimmer of the Meet was John Hu who, in addition to qualifying for the U.S. Open, swam a lifetime best every single time he ascended the starting blocks including eight preliminary races, six finals, and four relays. Hu also set eight team records and qualified for the Junior National Championships in the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley.

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