Sporting WCA

AquaCats Set for Huge Season

Behind a huge senior presence, Westminster Swimming and Diving looks to win their conference for the third consecutive year and have at least a double digit number of girls qualify for state.

The Swimmers:

The Wildcats, under guidance from Coaches Marjan Kempen and Kent Kehr, finished the 2016-17 season on a strong note, winning their final 3 meets, to go 6-5 on the year. They finished 32nd in the state finals with 8 swimmers participating.

“We definitely saw ourselves improve as the year went on,” said senior Jenna Galakatos on the 2016 season, “early in the year we just didn’t have as much experience, but the seniors from last year really helped us grow in our ability.”

This season, the Aquacats are leaning on huge years from seniors Jenna Galakatos and Kathryn Kramer, sophomore Cameron McMurray, and junior stand out Payton Dunn. Dunn verbally committed to Pepperdine University as a sophomore and has had a major impact on the team since joining as a freshman.

But despite being one of the top swimmers, Dunn is not a captain. Rather the Captain’s honor is being shared among all 4th year seniors, and there’s many of them this year, 15 to be exact.

“We have a lot of confidence in our senior captains,” said Dunn, “they’ve really brought the team together and established the tone for the year. They’ve set out specific goals for the season and set the expectations high for everyone.”

Along with the natural talent, the team is driven by their unique bond with one another.

“We are truly a family unit,” commented Coach Kempen, “the leaders have a real desire to push everyone to their max. This team has a drive to make each other better not only in the pool but outside as well.”

“There are a lot of girls who fly under the radar, but are going to be key swimmers during the season,” continued Kempen, “the leaders of the team have really encouraged them and we all have confidence in them and what they bring to the team.”

The Divers:

The story for the diving team, however, can be summed up with one name: Margo O’Meara.

OMeara is entering her high school career atop a mountain of hype, and is already believed to be one of, if not the, top diver in the state.

She recently participated in the 2017 USA Diving National Diving Championships (under 18), a national competition which showcases the top 600 divers in the country. O’Meara finished 2nd in the quarterfinals and 13th in the semis, missing the finals by only one spot.

”We’re all extremely excited to see what [Margo] can do this year,” said Coach Kehr, “she’s been making collegiate level dives since middle school, but we’re also very dependent on our experienced divers to lead the team and lead our younger girls.”