By Don Nelson
The Methow Valley Killer Whales swim team’s long string of victories in the county championship meet came to an end last Saturday (Aug. 30) as the Brewster Bearacudas managed just four more points than the Whales to take first place in the Omak pool.
In a four-team meet with 112 events, the margin of victory was equivalent to losing by about half-a-stroke in a close race.
The Killer Whales finished the season strong after starting late, competing with fewer swimmers than usual and finding other places to train as the Wagner Memorial Pool in Twisp was closed for repairs until July 14.
Bo Thrasher, co-coach of the Killer Whales along with Chuck Russell, said the team competed remarkably well considering its reduced numbers from previous years.
“We had 41 swimmers,” she said. “We were the smallest team there this year. Usually we have over 80 swimmers and have won the championships the past nine years.”
“We came close … For me as a coach, this was winning,” Thrasher added. “What an incredible effort by all the swimmers. Such great camaraderie, enthusiasm, energy and teamwork.”
Thrasher said the team and coaches appreciated being able to practice and compete in their own pool the past three weeks.
At the county meet, the Methow Valley team claimed 43 first-place finishes (winning more than a third of the events), 20 second-place finishes and 27 thirds.
Six Killer Whale swimmers recorded the highest number of points in their competition categories: Helena Remsberg, 7-8 girls; Ava Rothmeyer, 11-12 girls; Bodie Paul, 13-14 boys; Maya Shrager, 13-14 girls; Jackie Larsen, 15-16 girls; and Jed Butler, 15-16 boys. Maya Shrager won all six of her individual races with personal best times in four of them, Thrasher said.
At a team party on Sunday, Thrasher and Russell bestowed the Chase Award on Madeline Bosco. The award – named in honor of the late Killer Whale Chase Brandenburg – goes to a swimmer who demonstrates courage, support and commitment to the team. Bosco competed in the girls 15-16 division.
Okanogan County Summer Swim League championship meet team scores
- Brewster Bearacudas 676
- Methow Valley Killer Whales 672
- Okanogan Bullfrogs 553
- Omak Manta Rays 323