By Nick Beversdorf
Six swimmers of the Aqua Jays swimming club have qualified to participate in the 12-under Short Course State Championships in Madison this weekend. The Aqua Jays are part of NLAC, the Northern Lakes Aquatic Club, which includes almost all swimming clubs north of Wausau. All of the girls have qualified for their respective events by finishing under the minimum time requirement for the events.
Olivia Cordova is a 10 year-old 5th grader at Kate Goodrich Elementary. She has qualified for 4 events: 50 backstroke, 100 backstroke, 50 freestyle and the 50 breaststroke.
“She has made amazing strides this season in swimming,” said Coach Kristie Winter. “I expect great things from her in the future.”
Amelia Moreno is a 10 year-old 5th grader from the Antigo school district. This will be her second trip to state where she has qualified for the 100 IM (individual medley), 50 freestyle, 5 backstroke, 100 backstroke and the 200 IM in addition to the 50 and 100 breaststroke. Because there is a six event limit, she has chosen not to participate in the 50 freestyle.
Savannah Orzech is a 9 year-old at Kate Goodrich. Because of her qualification this winter, she is already qualified for summer state and winter state next year. She will be participating in 50 breaststroke and will also be participating in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke as bonus events.
“Savannah is a very hard worker and set high goals for herself in the beginning of the season to make state,” said Winter. “She has a long future of swimming ahead of her.”
Amber Winter, another 10 year-old 5th grader at Kate Goodrich, qualified for every single event available to ten and under swimmers. Because of the six event limit, she decided to participate in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, 100-yard breaststroke and 100 IM.
“Amber has already qualified for 11-12 year old state,” Winter added. “So I expect we will be making many more trips in the future.”
Ally is an 11 year-old 6th grader at St Johns. Ally has qualified for the 100-yard backstroke and she will also swim the 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke as bonus events.
Trinity Kanitz is a student at PRMS. She has qualified for the 200 freestyle, the 400 medley relay and the 400 freestyle.
Coach Christie Winters is very confident that all of the girls will do well.
In addition to this tournament, many other Aqua Jays have qualified for other meets around the United States.
“There is a good chance that two of our swimmers Trinity Kanitz and Ben Myszka will be invited to be relay only swimmers with NLAC at the 13 and up state meet in Milwaukee next week Thursday through Sunday,” comments Winter. “Which is an honor in itself as it means that they are still one of the 4 fastest kids in NLAC in their age group even though they did not make an individual cut. I will know for sure by Thursday if they will be selected but I’m hoping so.”
Amber and Amelia have qualified for the national age group meet in Orlando. The meet takes place on March 22nd-25th. Amelia has 2 cuts and Amber has 6.
Also, Merrill has 14 kids who will be competing in Minneapolis at the Midwest regional meet April 2-3. Time cuts are a little easier for this meet then the state meet so there are more qualifiers.
The events will take place at the UW-Madison Natatorium today until Sunday (Feb. 26th – 28th).