NWAC’s Haley Borja shows off her awards from the age group championships last week. Among her awards were three gold medals and a division overall points title. (Submitted photo)

Blue Heron win four golds at championship meet / NWAC

The North Whidbey Aquatic Club is going out in style.

The club, which will soon be disbanded because of budget cuts by the North Whidbey Parks and Recreation District board, competed in the Pacific Northwest Swimming 14-and-under Long Course Championships in Federal Way last weekend and came home with four gold medals, three by Haley Borja.

The meet included nearly 800 of the region’s top swimmers.

Last year, the Blue Heron claimed only one first place; this year Borja, 10, equaled that performance in her first event.

Borja captured the girls 10-and-under 100-meter backstroke by two seconds (1:21.39).

That was the beginning of a stellar weekend for Borja. She followed the win by setting a new NWAC record in the 50 freestyle (31.89), good for second place.

Then came consecutive wins in the 50 backstroke (37.53) and 100 free (1:10.35).

She finished the competition with three firsts, two seconds and an 11th, which helped her tie for the high point trophy in her division.

Lindsay Brown, 11, earned the other NWAC first in the girls 11/12 400 individual medley. Brown was in mid-pack during the first two legs then surged to a 10-second lead in the third, winning in 5:34.5.

Brown was runner-up in the 200 breaststroke, losing by less than a 10th of a second in 2:54.06. The time puts Brown among the top age group swimmers in the U.S.

Lecya Santiago, 12, placed eighth in the 100 backstroke and teamed with Jasmine Borja, Lola Chargualaf and Kiersten Tyson to take 13th in the girls 11/12 200 freestyle relay.

NWAC’s Jillian Pape, 17, will compete in three events at the USA Swimming Futures Championship Aug. 3-6 in Santa Clara.


Lindsay Brown, shown here in practice last week, picked up a gold medal at the age group championships. (Photo by Jim Waller/Whidbey News-Times)