A Williams Lake Blue Fins swimmer has qualified to swim at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Toronto.
Twenty-three-year-old Cale Murdock, who moved to Williams Lake last year to swim with the club and head coach Chad Webb, was selected as one of the top 20 swimmers in the country in his events to attend.
Swimming Canada sent out the invitations last year in what were then the tentative Olympic Trials in April in Toronto, however, the COVID-19 pandemic put all plans on hold, including the Tokyo Olympics.
Murdock, though, said he is preparing as best he can with positive thoughts for what the future holds, with current plans to attend this year’s Toronto-based trials in April of 2021.
Murdock grew up in Fort St. John, where he began his swimming career at the age of nine, and met coach Webb.
Finding himself back at home with no organized group to swim with and no coach, Murdock decided to make the move to Williams Lake. Even after Webb said he told him to try some bigger centres with more swimmers he could train with, Murdock said he wanted a more personable and smaller club atmosphere.
“I’d moved to Victoria to swim there after I graduated high school and the pool shut down so I had no one to swim with,” Murdock said. “Chad offered, and I came here.”
Murdock was ranked 10th in the 200-metre freestyle last year and 14th in the 400-metre freestyle — both events he has been invited to swim if all goes to plan at the trials in April.
He could also potentially be selected to race in the 800-metre freestyle as he is currently ranked 21st in that event and needs one person to decline swimming it at trials.
Murdock competed at the Canadian Olympic Trials in the 200-metre freestyle five years ago, and said the level of competition was an eye opener.
Webb, meanwhile, said it’s been great to have another high-level swimmer join the club’s ranks.
“Cale has been a great asset to the club, raising the day-to-day training standards and pushing other swimmers like Taylor Fitzgerald, and Jadyn Johnston who has stepped up to swim with Cale most days and push him through training sets,” Webb said.
Webb added it’s helped both boys significantly, and other swimmers have also become more aware of the steps it takes to be ranked as one of the best in the country.
“It’s an honour and a big responsibility that these high-level swimmers make me feel every day coming to the pool and making sure they get the best training possible opportunities and technical skills that are needed,” he said.
While COVID has put a halt to many day-to-day activities in the province, Webb and Murdock said the city staff have been amazing at staying open, heightening sanitation efforts and accommodating the club to make sure its program has the time and space to support local athletes who Webb said have given so much of their time and effort in achieving their dreams.