NWAC pair qualifies for Age Group Sectional

At the Bremerton March Madness Invitational Swim Meet at Olympic High School on March 6 and 7, North Whidbey Aquatic Club swimmers Cullen Wood and Akasha Trisler added new qualifying times for the Northwest Region Age Group Sectional (AGS) Championships in Federal Way, March 19-21, a meet drawing the fastest 5 percent of swimmers from six western states.

Wood’s new cuts came in winning the boys 10-and-under 50 breaststroke (41.73) and 200 individual medley (2:49.89).

Trisler achieved a new qualifying time in the girls 13-14 200 breast (2:33.57), one of her nine individual event victories.

Both athletes’ swims were also fast enough to qualify them for the Pacific Northwest Swimming Championships (PNS) in Federal Way, July 29-Aug. 1. PNS Champs involves the fastest 10 percent of competitive swimmers in western Washington.

In addition to Wood and Trisler, three other Aquajets also qualified for this meet: Kennedy Trisler in girls 13-14 100 fly (1:06.07) and 200 back (2:22.49), Marissa Morris in the girls 11-12 100 breast (1:28.36) and Ethan Tack in the boys 10-and-under 200 free (2:36.52).

In addition to Wood and Trisler, NWAC individual event winners included Ciara Hu, Price Hu, Jacob Jepsen, Joey Jepsen, Josh Jepsen, Morris, Lauryn Plush, Ethan Tack, Lucas Tack and Toren Wood.

Those achieving 100 percent individual PR’s were Taliah Black, Frances Empinado and Kenzie Judd.

Those achieving 100 percent relay PR’s were Black, Frances Empinado, Mariel Empinado, Joey Jepsen, Josh Jepsen, Kenzie Judd, Elisabeth Lundgren, Natalie Plush, Geraldine Ramos, Andrea Ruben, Hannah Schroeder, Ethan Tack, Lucas Tack, Akasha Trisler, Kennedy Trisler and Cole Weinstein.

NWAC’s Swimmer of the Meet was 7-year-old Frances Empinado, who recorded 100 percent individual and relay PR’s, achieved a PNS Gold time in the 25 back (24.49) and a PNS Silver time in the 25 CR (22.27), and improved by almost 10 seconds per 100 yards raced.

NWAC next competes at the Western Region Section Senior Championships March 10-14 in Federal Way.

The North Whidbey Aquatic Club (NWAC) is a competitive swimming program of the North Whidbey Park and Rec District. For more information, please call the pool (765-7665) to speak with head coach Neil Romney or view the team’s website at

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