Fifteen Port Townsend REDfins Swim Club members crossed two bridges to attend the 2018 Pacific Northwest Fall Divisional Swim Meet at the Curtis Aquatic Center in Tacoma on Dec. 1-2.
“Nerves were high, as some of the athletes competing would be doing so for the very first time,” REDfins assistant coach Ashley Avery said. “But the REDfins handled themselves with the utmost pride and sportsmanship.”
Avery and REDfins coach Emily Harrenstein reported receiving several compliments on how well the team did at cheering on their fellow teammates.
“Meet officials were watching every turn, flip and kick, which set an important tone for the meet, as there was very little room for error,” Avery said.
Avery said August Maberry dominated in the 13-and-over 50-yard backstroke, where he placed second in a time of 30.48 seconds.
Avery recalled another duel in the “friendly rivalry” between teammates Orion Pendley and Tenzin Blersch, who competed in the 13-and-over 50 freestyle. Pendley finished in 26.87 seconds, while Blersch finished in 27.29.
Avery praised Jamie Rogers, a former Port Townsend High School Redhawks athlete, who won the 13-and-over 50 butterfly in 29.72, and the 100 individual medley in 1:08.46.
Akeyla Behrenfeld, competing in the 11-12 age division, had what Avery deemed an outstanding weekend, finishing fourth in the 100 IM in 1:15.58, the 100 breaststroke in 1:28.45 and the 100 butterfly in 1:22.67.
“Notably, Ella Brooks, Jenna Heigel and Emillia Nunn, recent transfers from the Redhawks swim team, had great swims as well,” Avery said. “Landon Pol competed for the first time ever, and his 11-to-12 100-yard breaststroke was edge-of-your-seat excitement.”
The Schmidt sisters, Ursula and Wilhelmina, “swam their hearts out,” Avery said.
Elder sister Wilhelmina earned a third-place medal in the 11-12 200 free in 2:34.53. Younger sister Ursula, competing in the 10-and-under age group, placed in the top six in the 50 backstroke in 41.06, the 50 breaststroke in 46.59 and the 100 IM in 1:32.72.
Juliette O’Hara was eighth in the 11-12 50 backstroke (38.90) and the 50 freestyle (33.35).
“Gage Barry was a force to be reckoned with,” Avery said.
Barry placed fourth in the 13-and-over 200 breaststroke in 2:58.64.
“All the REDfins swimmers gained personal records, and eight of our swimmers made it to the finals, which is extremely exciting,” Avery said.
Harrenstein with agreed with Avery that she “couldn’t be any more pleased with the progress and athleticism that our athletes displayed” over the weekend.
“It is a testament to the hard work and dedication the Port Townsend REDfins have consistently been working towards,” Harrenstein said. “The proof really is in the pudding.”