The Williams Lake Blue Fins Swim Club continues to impress head coach Chad Webb.
Twenty-six Blue Fins travelled to Kamloops Dec. 15-16 to test their skills against some of the best swimmers in the province. Webb noted the team posted its best-ever result at the meet, ranking sixth overall just behind Prince George.
“Scoring points for the team came from almost every member of the club as many of them swam to a top-16 performance in finals,” Webb said.
Top 16 finalists for the Fins were: Peyton Bailey, Melissa Elefson, Rachel Elefson, Taylor Fitzgerald, Aliya Grant, Jadyn Grant, Nic Gysel, Braedi Hamar, Brianna Irawan, Gabby Knox, Morgan Langford, Emma Grace MacDonald, Cristelle Panida, Jadyn Johnston, Lucas Johnston, Dane Ramier, Andrew Shearer, Rowan Smith, Jordyn Stokes and Abby Webb.
Jordyn Stokes clinched yet another provincial time to qualify for provincial in Vancouver in late February. Aliya Grant and Braedi Hamar also came very close to achieving their second qualifying times, but Webb said will have to wait for another meet after the holiday break.
“Many of our local swimmers did an amazing job, but Peyton Bailey and Gabby Knox were amazing,” Webb said, noting Knox was first in the 100- and 200-metre freestyle, second in the 200-metre individual medley, 100-metre backstroke, 100-metre breaststroke, 400-metre freestyle and 100-metre butterfly, and third in the 200-metre backstroke.
Peyton, meanwhile, shaved off a significant amount of time from her best swims and finished first in the 200-metre butterfly, third in the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle, 200-metre breaststroke and 100-metre butterfly.
“Peyton and Gabby were instrumental in the relays, as well, as the 11-12 (year old) girls finished with a fourth and a second-place finish with relay members Braedi Hamar and Jordyn Stokes,” Webb said.
Gabby swam in both the 11-12 girls relay and the 13-14 girls relay helping Fitzgerald, Abby and Panida achieve two club records in both the relay teams, which placed fifth and second.
Gabby and Peyton also shattered 30-plus year-old club records, Webb said.
Jadyn Johnston placed first in the 200-metre individual medley and 400-metre individual medley, second in the 100-metre butterfly, 200-metre backstroke and 200-metre breaststroke and third in the 100-metre freestyle. Jadyn also took down an old club record in the 200-metre breaststroke at the meet.
Lucas, meanwhile, grabbed a pair of third-place results in the 400-metre freestyle and 100-metre butterfly and finished up fourth in five other events.
Andrew Shearer placed well coming in first in the 50-metre backstroke, 100-metre individual medley and 50-metre butterfly and second in the 100-metre backstroke and 50-metre freestyle, and third in the 200-metre individual medley.
Fitzgerald also had some great swims placing first in the 200-metre backstroke, second in the 400-metre individual medley and third in the 100-metre backstroke.
Melissa Elefson placed third in the 50-metre backstroke and 50-metre breaststroke.
“It was great to have so many new faces in the finals for our team and so many of our kids improving significantly and placing very well,” Webb said.
“A total team effort by this group in individual swims, relays and team spirit.”
Jordyn Stokes now joins the Age Group Provincial team that has already qualified from the Fins: Peyton Bailey, Lucas Johnston, Gabby Knox and Rowan Smith, while the Senior Provincial Team qualifiers are Taylor Fitzgerald, Jadyn Johnston and Abby Webb.