Hot finish carries NWAC to victory in Wenatchee heat

The North Whidbey Aquatic Club Aquajets came from behind to prevail against the 12 other teams at the July 9-11 Starlight Invitational Swim Meet in Wenatchee.

With two events remaining in the 119-event meet and competing in the sweltering 100-degree sun and air thick with smoke from surrounding brushfires, NWAC was mired in third place. The Aquajets moved from third to second in the 200 fly and then squeezed into first after the mile to take home the team trophy.

Despite a lackluster overall team performance and a smaller team than either of its main competitors, NWAC, according to head coach Neil Romney, was able to eke out a team victory on its superior durability, dominating two of the most grueling events in swimming, with many of its athletes going back to back in the both of those events.

The top three teams were NWAC (1,240 points), Golds Aquatic Club of Woodinville (1,211 points) and Spokane Waves (1,169 points).

NWAC was led by individual high point award winners Olivia Tungate (girls 9-10), Ethan Tack (boys 9-10), Laura Rosen (girls 13-14) and John Hu (boys 15-and-over). Rosen won nine events, Tungate seven, Tack six and Hu four.

Other individual event winners included Bon Bainco, Marissa Morris and Molly Vagt.

Notching new Pacific Northwest Swimming (PNS) Championships qualifying times were Bon Bainco in the boys 13-14 200 breast (2:57.03), 800 free (10:31.88) and 1500 free (20:05.74); and Molly Vagt in the girls 11-12 50 fly (38:07).

Achieving new PNS Gold standards were Harrison Tack, Brett Vagt, Lauren Vagt and Nicole Vogt. Erica Sugatan and Lucas Tack earned new silver standards.

Aquajet swimmer of the meet was 10-year-old Maya Krantz, who, competing in only her second meet and her first in an Olympic-sized pool, had all legal swims, won three of her heats, earned both spud swims, executed flip turns and sound racing strategy, and laid down a blistering anchor leg on the 200 free relay with a 45.98 split.

NWAC next competes at the PNS Championships in Federal Way, July 29-August 1, where it will field a team of 24 athletes.

The North Whidbey Aquatic Club is a competitive swimming program of the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District. It includes swimmers of all abilities and ages from 6 through college. Tryouts occur Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the city pool from 4:25 to 5:10 p.m. New swimmers should be able to swim a length of the pool in freestyle and backstroke. The first two weeks are free.

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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