This past weekend, the Williams Lake Blue Fins Swim Club sent 21 swimmers north to compete at the annual Prince George swim meet.
Over the course of three days, the team swam a total of 148 events, finishing the meet with 71 per cent personal best times.
“It was a very busy, fast-paced meet, and our team did an excellent job standing up and giving every swim their all,” said Coach Amanda Nemeth. “We still have a lot of swimmers who don’t yet have a lot of racing experience, and seeing them step up and do so well was exciting and really motivated the rest of the team to push their limits.”
Achieving 100 per cent best times at the meet were Eleanor Dean, Julien Allaire, Lilly Reedman, Isabelle Groundwater and Annica Stalker.
The highlight of the weekend was when four swimmers qualified for the prestigious Eliminator Event, where swimmers face off in a series of back-to-back 50m races and the slowest two get eliminated every round. Qualifying for the girls were Maya Robinson (eliminated round one), Elise Jonasson (eliminated round three), and Annica Stalker, who made it to the final round and came in second overall.
Qualifying for the boys was Gavin Reedman, who earned the Blue Fins their first-ever win in this event.
“This is such a fun event, and something our swimmers look forward to qualifying for every year,” said Nemeth, “to have two swimmers make it into the final round was incredible, and then to have Gavin win it was pretty sensational.”
In the 11 and 12 year old girls medley relay, the team of Eleanor Dean, Elise Jonasson, Annica Stalker and Maya Robinson took first place, while Emmeline Theriault, Hazel Pare, Sophia Ulrich and Lilly Reedman snagged third.
The next day, the teams once again took first and third place in the freestyle relay, with Elise, Sophia, Maya and Annica coming in first and Lilly, Emmeline, Hazel and Eleanor clinching third place.
Coming in second in the 15-and-over freestyle relay was the team of Jadyn Grant, Niomi Neufeld, Aliya Grant and Jordyn Stokes.
Hitting the podium this weekend for aggregate awards (top points by gender and age group) Annica Stalker and Elise Jonasson, who came second and third respectively in the 11-and-12 girls category, Gavin Reedman, who came second in the boys 11-and-12, and Dylan DeRose who earned a silver medal for the boys 15-and-over group. Emmeline Theriault took home a gold medal for her winning performance in the 10-and-under 200m freestyle.
The swimmer of the meet for the junior group is Maya Robinson, with Annica Stalker earning the title for the senior swim group.
“Both of these girls have been working very hard in practice, and that hard work paid off in spades over the weekend,” said Nemeth. “I knew they would do really well going into the meet, but they both had phenomenal swims and finished with some incredibly fast times.”
The Blue Fins are back training this week, getting ready for their biggest meet of the season, which is coming up mid-December in Kamloops.