Merrill Aqua Jays send swimmers to state and beyond
The Merrill Aqua Jays Swim Club (MAJSC) finished its summer season by sending four swimmers to the state meet held in Brown Deer July 27-29.
“The summer season is swam in long course meters as opposed to the short course yards most of us are used to,” said coach Kristie Winter. “This can be very challenging as one length of a long course pool is about 2 ½ of our standard pools in Merrill.”
The summer season for Merrill Aqua Jays started in mid May and had 20 swimmers participate over the summer. They traveled to several meets around the state. To qualify for the state meet swimmers must achieve specific times for their events based on their age. MAJSC also joins with other teams in Northern Wisconsin to create relays for its parent team NLAC or Northern Lakes Aquatic Club. State qualifiers for Merrill include Amber Winter, Emma Pajtash, Olivia Pajtash and Amelia Moreno.
Amber Winter a 12 year old and will be a 7th grader at PRMS. Amber qualified to swim in 11 events but had to choose six due to event rules. She had six personal best swims while at State. In the 50M Free she tied for 6th Place, 200M Breast she finished in 4th place, in the 100M Breast she finished in 4th place, in the 200M free she placed 25th and in the 100M free she placed 10th. Amber also competed on three relays for NLAC the 200M Free, 400M Medley and 400M free relays.
Emma Pajtash also a 12 year old and will be an 8th Grader at PRMS this fall. She has also been swimming for four years. Emma was selected to participate in three relays as a relay only swimmer for NLAC. She had two personal best swims while at State. Emma competed in the 200M Free, 200M medley and 400M Free relays with the team.
Olivia Pajtash is 10 years old and will be a 5th grader at Jefferson this fall. Olivia qualified in the 50M Free finishing in 69th place, 50M Breast taking 52nd place and 100M Breast taking 53rd place.
“This was a great learning opportunity for her to be at such a large meet,” Winter said.
Amelia Moreno also a 12 year old, comes to Merrill from Antigo and attends the middle school there. She qualified to swim in the 200M Breast taking 23rd place, 50 Breast finishing 13th, 100 Breast finishing 23rd and 50M Fly taking 39th place. Amelia Also competed on the 200M medley relay, 400M medley relay and 400M Free Relay.
After State, two Merrill swimmers qualified to continue on to the USA Swimming Central Zones meet held in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Aug. 3-6. They then were able to compete representing Team Wisconsin.
“Only about 100 kids from Wisconsin qualified for this meet,” Winter said. “Swimmers from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and Lake Erie area were also in attendance. Time standards for this meet are very difficult and the competition was very strong.”
Amber Winter swam for MAJSC/NLAC in five events including: 100M Breast – 20th place, 50M Free – 31st Place, 50M Breast – 23rd place, 100M Free – 67th place and the 200M Breast – 35th place.
Evi Blennert is 12 years old and will be a 7th grader at PRMS. She swam for the WYNS team out of Wausau. Evi competed in six events including: 50M Fly – 34th place, 100M Breast -31st place, 400M IM – 27th place, 50M Breast – 34th place, 200M Breast – 30th place and the 200M IM – 29th place.