Earlier this month, 26 Williams Lake Blue Fin swimmers competed at the Prince George Invitational swim meet.
With spectators welcome for the first time, the swimmers were inspired to reach new levels of performance.
The group included seven swimmers who had never been to an out of town meet before: Andrew Langford, Eleanor Dean, Emmeline Theriault, Jesse Neufeld, Lilly Reedman, Noemi Baumann and Willem Gysel.
“These swimmers did a fantastic job navigating what can be a pretty overwhelming environment, including racing in a 50m pool, which was a first not just for them but many of our swimmers,” said Amanda Nemeth, assistant head coach. “To be able to adapt so quickly and race with the heart they did was really inspiring for the entire team.”
Emmeline Theriault also raced her way to a medal over the weekend, taking silver in the girls 10 and under 200m freestyle.
With new swimmers stepping into the competition, the Blue Fins were also able to enter a boys relay team, which was a highlight of the meet.
The team – Hunter Stokes, Willem Gysel, Andrew Langford and Gavin Reedman – had some big shoes to fill.
“It’s been years since we’ve had a competitive boys relay team, so all eyes were on them, and those boys delivered,” said Meneth. “It was such a fun, exciting race and they all did very well.”
Tierra French qualified for Divisonal Championships for the first time in the 50m breaststroke, and has inched closer in a number of other swims.
Adding to his list of divisional events, Gavin Reedman raced the 400m freestyle for the first time, and not only made the qualifying time, but also came in first in his age group.
Rowan Smith also had a very strong 400m freestyle, breaking a 27-year-old club record.
Earning a spot in the ultra-competitive Eliminator Event with their 200m intermediate medley swims were Aliya Grant, Jordyn Stokes and Dylan DeRose, with Aliya making one round, and Jordyn and Dylan making two.
Jordyn’s 200m intermediate medley performance also earned her a bronze medal, while Gavin Reedman won gold in the 11 and 12 boys category.
The Blue Fins are back in the water training hard this week, preparing for a busy June with a number of back-to-back meets, including the prestigious Zajac International Swim Meet. The meet takes place at the University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre June 3 to 5.