Williams Lake Blue Fins Taylor Fitzgerald (from left), Cristelle Panida, Morgan Langford, Peyton Bailey and Gabrielle Knox were five of six local swimmers (missing is Jadyn Johnston) who attended the 2019 Summer Provincial Championships in Victoria during the weekend. (Photo submitted)

Blue Fins compete among B.C.’s best at provincials

Four out of six attending swimmers qualified for finals at the meet

The Williams Lake Blue Fins returned from the Summer Provincial Championships in Victoria with some impressive results against the best in B.C.

Four out of six attending swimmers qualified for finals at the meet, with another eight club records and 14 finals — Taylor Fitzgerald, Morgan Langford, Gabby Knox, Cristelle Panida and Peyton Bailey — swam their way to another great meet with lifetime performances, said Blue Fins head coach Chad Webb.

Bailey travelled with the team to help the 13- and 14-year-old girls field a relay team as she combined with Knox, Langford and Panida to form the team to set two new relay club records.

READ MORE: Blue Fins take to pool with best in country at Western Canadian Championships

Johnston, meanwhile, qualified for finals in almost every swim he competed in, despite racing against swimmers a year older, while Fitzgerald had to manage in an open age group category featuring national team members swimming beside her.

“Both rose to the challenge, along with Morgan and Gabrielle, to place in the top 16 overall in multiple swims,” Webb said.

Top 16 and club records were:

Jadyn Johnston

• 200-metre butterfly, eighth (club record)

• 200-metre backstroke, 11th (club record)

• 200-metre individual medley, 11th (club record)

• 100-metre butterfly, 10th (club record)

• 400-metre freestyle, 16th

• 400-metre individual medley, fifth

• 100-metre backstroke, 11th (club record)

Taylor Fitzgerald

• 100-metre freestyle (club record)

• 200-metre backstroke, 16th

• 100-metre butterfly (club record)

• 100-metre backstroke, 10th

Gabriell Knox

• 50-metre freestyle, 12th (club record)

• 200-metre individual medley (club record)

Gabrielle Knox, Cristelle Panida, Peyton Bailey and Morgan Langford

• 200-metre free relay, 11th (club record)

• 200-metre medley relay, ninth (club record)

Webb said with two weeks left in the season the club will split the team with the last four swimmers heading off to two different meets.

Fitzgerald and Panida will be off to compete against the best in the Western U.S. and Canada in one of the largest swim meets in North America in San Francisco, CA., while Langford and Johnston head to Calgary to take on the best in Canada once again.

“We are splitting the team up depending on what they qualified for,” Webb said. “The different meets allow the swimmers to get in the most amount of races while competing against the best competitors that they have ever raced.

“We will be using other clubs and coaches in the province to help reduce some costs for the families, as well as split some coaching as I can’t be at both meets, unfortunately.”

The Williams Lake Blue Fins also recently celebrated their season end with an awards ceremony.

“[There was] much to be celebrated in the last year of swimming,” Webb said.

Awards presented are as follows:

• Male Swimmer of the Year: Jadyn Johnston

• Female Swimmer of the Year: Taylor Fitzgerald

• Hardest Trainer: Gabrielle Knox and Aliya Grant

• Junior Hardest Trainer: Melissa Elefson and Ashtynn Cullum (runner up)

• Most Sportsmanlike: Morgan Langford and Jadyn Grant (runner up)

• Most Improved: Braedi Hamar and Jordyn Stokes (runner up)

• Most Improved Junior: Ethan Butt and Holly Frost (runner up)

• Rookie of the Year: Phoenix Stafford and Dexi Stewart (runner up)



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Photo submitted Williams Lake Blue Fins coaches present Jadyn Johnston (third from left) and Taylor Fitzgerald this year’s Blue Fins’ swimmers of the year.

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