Winter prep preview / Oak Harbor swim and dive

After the graduation of a large senior class, the Oak Harbor High School swim and dive team will look to the new members to fill in the slack.

The Wildcats return only four lettermen from last season and only one senior, captain Garrett Karney.

The other veterans are juniors Pablo Closson and Aaron Martinez and sophomore Micah Franklin.

These returning swimmers are providing “solid leadership,” coach Amy Merkley said.

Key newcomers are sophomore Rylan Quiros and freshman Lawrence Zapanta, according to coach Amy Merkley.

“We have a large number of new underclassmen who have shown up with a positive attitude and are learning quickly the ropes of high school swimming,” Merkley said. “We have a good number of first time divers under coach River Powers.”

Merkley likes the team’s work ethic and willingness to be coached.

“I am excited to see what they will be able to accomplish over the course of the season,” she added. “We are having a lot of fun.”

She is concerned that the anticipation of the pool closure could “negatively impact our swim team programs.”

The goals for the season, Merkley said, are to “develop new swimmers into well-rounded and strong competitive swimmers and divers, (and to) do our part to get the pool up and operating for future high school swim programs and for our greater community.”

Oak Harbor, which was 3-7 last year and finished sixth in the district meet, opens the season when Lake Stevens visits at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4.