This past weekend, the Williams Lake Blue Fins sent a team of four swimmers to the BC Age Group Championships in Vancouver to compete against the top swimmers aged 12 and under in the province.
“With close to 500 competitors and 12-hour days at the pool, our young athletes were challenged not only in their own races, but had to really dig deep and push their physical and mental limits in a very difficult, exhausting setting,” said coach Amanda Nemeth.
“To be able to perform at this level at their age is impressive in its own right, and to put up the kind of results they did demonstrates just how much passion and dedication our swimmers have for the sport.”
Jordyn Stokes shined in her events, swimming her way to a number of best times.
“Her underwater work was amazing, and her mastery of that skill had her leading the pack right from the start in the majority of her races. Jordyn loves to go fast and loves to race and her results reflect that.”
Stokes finished the meet placing 11th in the province for her age group in the 200 back, 19th in the 50 free and 18th in the 200 breaststroke.
Jadyn Grant had a remarkable weekend, having battled her way back to the pool after a lengthy illness kept her out of high-intensity training for the last eight weeks.
“To have been unable to truly train for so long really compromises performance, so heading in to the meet, I was just happy to have her back in the water,” said Nemeth. “She came in with realistic expectations and goals for herself and not only exceeded her goals, but also swam a couple personal best times. Jadyn demonstrated what it means to swim with heart and inspired all of us this weekend with her resilience and grit.”
Rowan Smith showed up at every session full of confidence — and for good reason.
“She swam her way to a number of impressive best times, including dropping 2.5 seconds in her 100 back and almost nine seconds in her 200 back, coming in 24th place overall.
“She was able to hit her technical goals as well as most of her goal times. Rowan’s persistence and resolve throughout the weekend not only made her better, but encouraged her team to be better too.”
Coming off an impressive meet in Quesnel a couple of weeks ago, Aliya Grant proved there is nothing that can stand in her way.
“Aliya was in a tough position where a lot of her training was centred around a previous meet, and with very little turn around, she still managed to dominate in the pool,” Nemeth said.
“Aliya finished the meet with personal best times in every one of her races, which is a rare feat for someone at her level of swimming, especially occurring on the heels of another successful meet. At this point, Aliya is unstoppable when she sets her sights on a new goal.
“It was a great weekend, the girls more than held their own against the best of the best, and their can-do attitude and positivity throughout the entire meet was a powerful thing to witness. They did their coaches, parents and team proud this weekend, and represented Williams Lake so well. They truly gave it their all.”
This week, the Blue Fins will be gearing up for yet another competition this weekend — this time on home turf. The Cariboo Dental Smoke on the Water Invitational starts Saturday, Feb. 29 and Sunday, March 1 and will see over 40 Blue Fins racing with swimmers from Kamloops, Quesnel and Prince George.