AquaJets, Lightning strong at provincial championships
Josh Zakala led the Kelowna AquaJets with a multiple golden performance at the B.C. AAA swimming championships last weekend in Kamloops.
Zakala, 15, hit the top of the podium four times, capturing the men's 1500 free, 100 free, 100 back and 200 backstroke.
His performance in the 100 back was good for a KAJ club record, lowering the previous mark of 58.57 set by Roland Bauhard in 1997 to a time of 58.31.
Zakala was one of 10 AquaJets who competed at the provincial meet.
The Jets placed 21st out of 46 teams across the province.
Head Coach Peter Wilkins was pleased with the results. “We had all 10 swimmers earning points for the team, making second swims, and a couple of exciting relays step up,” Wilkins said.
Three other club records fell on the weekend in relay events—the 13-14 girls team of Clarisse Obedkoff, Kyrah McNulty, Molly Hill and Axana Merckx dropped 21 seconds of the old mark in the 4x200 Free, followed by the senior girls team of Skye Kinnear, Tia Itterman, Katie Dunlop and Obedkoff smashed 34 seconds off the record in the same event. The third record breaking relay was swam on Sunday by McNulty, Dunlop, Kinnear and Itterman, shaving six seconds off in the 4x50 medley relay in a time of 2:05.0.
Other AquaJet swimmers to place top eight in their events were: Skye Kinnear (5th 200 breast), Tia Itterman (5th 400 IM), Katie Dunlop (6th 100 Back, 200 breast; 7th 200 Free, 8th 100 Breast), Kyra McNulty (8th 100 Back).
The group earned 33 best times throughout the gruelling four-day competition. First time AAA provincial member Madison Kornell had 100 per cent best times throughout the event, along with teammate Molly Hill. Julien Roberts, 16, finished his season with a great meet, earning five best times and two finals.
“The meet was a stepping stone for a lot of the group, providing their last opportunity to brush up and get ready for Western Canadian Championships in two weeks time in New Westmiinster," added Wilkins. "Overall, the meet was a very positive experience for the team."
Thirteen athletes from the Liquid Lightning Swim Club were among some 600 swimmers from across British Columbia at the 2014 Swim B.C. AAA Short Course Age Group Championships held Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 at the Canada Games pool in Kamloops.
Lightning swimmers set 40 personal best times, 14 individual club records and three relay club records.
Kassidie Cornell, 17, won the bronze medal in the girls 16 to 18 100 metre breaststroke with a personal best 1:13.53. Cornell also took the bronze in the 200 breast.
In the boys 14 and 15 division, Craig Mathieson, 15, swam to three fourth place, two fifth place and one sixth place finish. Mathieson broke Mike Crone’s club record from 2003 in the 200-m Individual Medley with a 2:13.87. He also broke his own club records in the 100-m butterfly, 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 breast, 100 free and 100 breast.
Danielle Douglas, 17, finished fourth in the 50 free, seventh in the 100 back and eighth in the 200 back.
Dylan DaSilva, 12, came sixth in the 200 fly. He took over 22 seconds off his 400 IM to finish eighth and break Lucas Tyler’s club record from 2012 with a 5:21.65.
Jessica Forbes, 15, placed eighth in the 50 free with a personal best 27.53.
Chantelle Douglas, 14, swam 100 per cent best times and broke Alex Holland’s club record in the 100 back from 2007 with a 1:08.59. She also set a club record in the 200 back.
Brock Hoel, 12, broke his own record in the 1500 free with an 18.50.45, good for ninth.
Alex Diaz, 16, broke his own club record in the 400 free with a 4:14.82 and took out Luke McIntosh’s club record in the 50 free from 2011 with a 25.89.
Forbes, along with Jamie Hellard, Liz Aguiar and Danielle Douglas set a club record in the girls 18 and under 800 freestyle relay.
DaSilva, Mathieson, Hoel and Scott Andreen teamed up to break the 18 and under boys 200 free relay record from 2011.
Diaz, Hoel, Mathieson and Andreen set a club record in the boys 18 and under 800 free relay.
Emil Dimitrov, head coach for the Liquid Lightning was pleased with the team’s performance.
“There was excellent participation from the Silver group swimmers and the Gold group performed very strong based on their stage of preparedness,” he said.