Manta Ray Aquatics host third annual Thankswimming Open

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Courtesy photo Manta Ray swimmer Annika Burke competes in the butterfly.

MOSES LAKE — 200 athletes from around the Inland Empire, including 44 Manta Ray swimmers, competed at the third annual 2017 MRA Thankswimming Open this past weekend at the Tony St. Onge Pool of Dreams.

This is a special event for Manta Ray Aquatics, as they donate a portion of the proceeds to a local youth program as a way of saying thank you to the community for supporting the swim team for almost 60 years. On the men’s side of the competition, Manta Ray Aquatics had a very successful meet posting nine individual first-place finishes.

17-year-old Noah Heaps claimed first-place finishes in his 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke.

The dynamic pair of Cole Lindberg (14) and Zach Washburn (14) together claimed seven first-place finishes. Lindberg pulled in firsts in his 100 and 200 butterfly events, while Washburn brought in firsts in his 100 and 200 backstroke, 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 400 individual medley.

Heaps, Washburn, and Lindberg are also now competing for the Moses Lake High School swim team.

On the women’s side of the team, a handful of MRA girls achieved impressive times, qualifying for upper level meets. Jessica Williams (15) swam to a Washington Senior State qualifying time in her 50 breaststroke (34.14), and claimed a Manta Ray Aquatics team record in the process.

In the 11-12 division, Julia Heaps and Kathryn Duvall, both 10, achieved individual qualification times for the Short Course Championship Meet. In addition to these individual accomplishments, five Manta Ray relay teams claimed top spots in their events.

In the Girls 10 and Under 100 medley relay, the combination of Julia Heaps, Kora Preston, Aline Davis and Kathryn Duvall swam to first in a time of 1:23.23.

The 10 and under boys team of Jonah Heaps, Oliver Burke, Charles Pray and Iver Miner also took first on their side of the event with a time of 1:51.64. In the mixed 11 and over 200 medley relay, the team of Brittney Richeson, Jessica Williams, Nicholas Moore, and Issac Patten claimed a first place finish with a time of 2:13.23. The Manta Rays Oliver Burke, Kendall Vance, Alexis Preston and Dylan Moore took home first in the mixed 12 and under 200 freestyle relay with a time of 3:14.52.

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