Congratulations to Walnut Creek Aquanuts for winning the overall Championships at Junior/Senior Nationals. April 6-10th, over 300 top artistic swimmers from around the United States competed in Geneva, Ohio at the U.S. Junior/Senior National Championships in Artistic Swimming.
The Walnut Creek Aquanuts competed in 9 of 13 events and ended the competition with the overall High Point Trophy with 3 golds, 4 silvers, 2 bronze and many near-podium finishes. This is the 17th championship win for the Aquanuts.
In addition, Aquanut Head Coach Tammy McGregor won the Coach of the Year Award and Miko Begossi, competing in seven events, won Athlete of the Year and High Point Athlete of the Year. Begossi will go on to Stanford University as a varsity athlete this fall.
“Thanks to the outstanding coaching staff, talented and dedicated athletes and parents, we were able to win our 17th National Title. I’m so proud of this group and WCA as a whole for carrying on our tradition of excellence.” stated Gail Emery, WC program founder.
The Aquanuts are training hard and looking for more gold this spring. 13-15 Nationals and the 12U Invitational take place April 28-May 1 in Irvine, CA. The Aquanuts will be sending 24 athletes to compete in six events.
To see the Aquanuts in action: Save the date for their Celebration of Champions Show and Poolside Auction on May 21 at the Clarke Memorial Swim Center.
In the Jr Solo Tech event Aquanut Dalia Ovadia placed 2nd, Miko Begossi took 5th and Emma Moore 6th out of 43 entries. For Sr Solo Tech, WCA’s Ryan Lewis took Silver, six tenths behind the top finisher.
In the Jr Solo Free event, Begossi moved into 2nd, Ovadia claimed 4th and Moore moved up to 5th out of 52 competitors from around the country. This is Ovadia and Moore’s first year swimming as Junior athletes. They both come into Juniors with success as 2021 13-15 National team members and 13-15 National Champions. In the Sr Solo Free Lewis just missed the podium finishing 4th overall.
In the Duet Tech event Begossi and Ovadia paired up to take Bronze, Megan Kerner and Giordanna Zuniga 4th and Cambell McMillen and Morgan Woelfel 6th. These were marathon days for WCA with a 3-hour time change to overcome and four events each day.
For the Duet Free, the Aquanuts were still fresh enough to have two podium finishes. Athletes Miko Begossi and Joanna Liu swam to a New York themed routine to claim Silver, Cambell McMillen and Morgan Woelfel took Bronze with a Swans routine and Emma Moore and Giordanna Zuniga placed 4th with their dramatic tango routine. Coach McGregor commented that, “The days were long but the fight was strong. Our depth is good. Duets going 2nd-3rd-4th and 3rd solos in finals shows the strength of WCA.”
In the Team Technical and Team Free events WCA entered two squads. These spectacular 8-person events feature dangerous throw lifts and intricate connected forms. In the Team Tech, WCA took Gold and 6th among a tough field of competitors.
In the Free it was Gold and 6th again for the Aquanuts. Only 1.3 points kept WCA’s B squad from a podium finish. Coach of the WCA Jr B team, Kristen Smidstra said, “This group overcame a lot this season. We had hoped to place higher, but I’m proud of the team’s determination to improve. It was fantastic to see a 4-point improvement at Nationals from our previous competition just 1 month ago.”
Sunday wrapped up the National event with the 10-person Combo event where the Aquanuts took their Final Gold with athletes swimming to a Crowd-pleasing ‘Eurovision’ themed routine. With 10 athletes, lifts flew even higher putting the WCA Combo nine tenths ahead of their long-time rival, the Santa Clara Aquamaids.
WCA did not have long to celebrate their 17th National Championship win because shortly after the Combo event, the 2022 Junior National Team Trials competition began.
The Aquanuts are training hard and looking for more gold this spring! 13-15 Nationals and the 12U Invitational take place April 28-May 1st in Irvine, CA. The Aquanuts will be sending 24 athletes to compete in 6 events.
To see the Aquanuts in action: Save the date for their Celebration of Champions Show and Poolside Auction on May 21st at the Clarke Memorial Swim Center. For more information about the team and events please visit, www.aquanuts.org.
(Photo Credit: Stephen Moore)