Zakala leads AquaJets at Age Group Nationals
Josh Zakala set the pace for his teammates as five members of the Kelowna AquaJets Swim Club competed at the Age Group National Championships over the last week in Montreal.
On the final day of competition, Zakala, 15, captured the 5 K open water swim for the third consecutive year.
Held in the Olympic rowing basin, the race was two 2.5 km laps were Zakala was able to drop three minutes off his time from last summer, and win convincingly by over a minute in a time of 58 minutes at 53 seconds. Zakala also had his success in the pool, swimming in eight events, earning two senior national qualifying times and 10 new club records, five of which were in the open age category, making Zakala the fastest AquaJet in history in the 400, 800, 1500 Free, the 200 Back and 400 IM.
Julien Roberts, 15, and Sam McDonald, 14, each had five swims in the pool at Parc Jean Drapeau.
McDonald had best times in four of his five swims, lowering his record in the 50 Breast to 33.54m , as well as breaking one set by Zakala last season in the 200 Breast in a time of 2:36.80 while earning his for Western Canadian standard.
Roberts had his share of best times and records, qualifying for finals in the 200 and 100 Fly in times of 2:11.8 and 59.9 both records in the 15-17 category, as well as the 200 fly breaking an open age record. Roberts also swam the 50 Fly lowering his previous club record to 27.70, 100 Free, and 800 Free.
On the girls side, Clarisse Obedkoff, 13, and Katie Dunlop, 14, also put up points, best times and records. Dunlop swam seven events, making finals in four. Dunlop broke records in the 50 Free and the 50 Back, both of which she previously held. Katie also broke a record set by Kierra Smith in 2009 in the 200 Breast, swimming a time of 2:41.21 .
In her other events the 200 IM and 100 Breast she posted best times, and finished the 200 Back and 100 Back . Obedkoff was busy as well making trips to finals in the 50 (33.30) and 100 Back (1:10.30) Obedkoff also competed in the 200 and 400 IM as well as the 200 Fly. Obedkoff hit four best times on the week.
“It was a very successful meet for our team” explains coach Peter Wilkins “We had all five members consistently swimming best times, moving up in the rankings, making seconds swims and swimming faster in finals”.
Overall the AquaJets continue to finish higher every year in the team scoring, finishing 46th out of 160 teams with 217 points up from 53rd place last summer in Calgary. Wilkins says he was very pleased that all of the AquaJets were able to contribute to the point total and the feel a part of the success of the team during the week.