Aquanuts win 19th National championship

Aquanuts win 19th National championship

Aquanuts win 19th National championship
The team celebrates at the National and Junior Championship. (Photo courtesy Walnut Creek Aquanuts)

WALNUT CREEK, CA (Apr. 19, 2024) — Walnut Creek Aquanuts junior and senior swimmers traveled to Houston last weekend for the AWD Invitational National and Junior Championship and came away with a 19th artistic swimming national team championship while winning eight gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

The WCA junior team (15-18 year-olds) was led by repeat high point winner Dalia Ovadia who captured seven gold medals at Nationals. Ovadia won junior gold medals in solo free and tech plus duet tech and duet free with Yanna Hauck.

Aquanuts coach Tammy McGregor was honored as Junior National Coach of the Year.

Ana Martinez won gold in the senior solo freestyle event and took silver for her senior solo tech routine.


Aquanuts win 19th National championship
Aquanuts duet Morgan Woelfel (left) and Ghizal Akbar. (Photo courtesy Walnut Creek Aquanuts)

Aquanut junior teams were first and fifth in the team freestyle event and first and sixth in the tech competition. In the acrobatic routine they were first and sixth.

Emma Moore took silver and Ghizal Akbar fourth in the solo free. Moore was third and Karen Xue fourth in solo tech.

In junior duet free and tech events Akbar and Morgan Woelfel of Concord and Carondelet High School were third and Moore and Xue fourth for WCA.

Also competing for the WCA junior teams were Ayla O’Neil of Pleasant Hill and College Park High and Concord’s Elena Griffin of Northgate.

West Zone Championships

Last month the Aquanuts took four youth (ages 13-15) and junior teams to the West Zone Championships in Mesa, AZ where they qualified all but one routine entered for the Junior and Youth National Championship events. In the Junior and Senior events, WCA took gold in all eight events entered, dominating the field.

In addition, junior head coach McGregor was named the U.S. Junior National team head coach. Her assistant will be WCA assistant coach Young Shin Woo.

Ten WCA 10 athletes will travel to Houston for the U.S. Youth National Championships and Youth National Team Trials April 24-28. Youth Athletes competing in Houston include Kaylee Wang and Vienna Mangan-Coloma of Pleasant Hill and Concord’s Chloe Nicholas and Sasha Qualk.

On May 11 WCA holds its Celebration of Champions Show and Auction at Clarke Swim Center in Walnut Creek. The U.S. Olympic Artistic Swimming Team will perform their Olympic routine at the event.

The Aquanuts will also be hosting the Western Regional Championships at Clarke Swim Center the following weekend, May 18-19. Athletes from all over Northern California will compete to qualify for the Junior Olympics at the end of June in Portland.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.