What a difference a year had made for the Kelowna AquaJets.
The local swim club placed 12th overall in team competition with 834 points at the B.C. AAA short course championships last weekend in Victoria.
That’s a jump of nine places from 21st in 2010 with an improvement of more than 500 points.
The Jets sent 11 swimmers to the event—10 scored points—who brought home 18 medals, broke 14 club records, qualified two more swimmers for Western Canadian Championships and two more for Age Group Championships in Montreal this July.
“I could not have asked for a better competition from the team this weekend” says Wilkins. “They were simply amazing all weekend long, representing Kelowna and the club well above expectations.”.
AquaJet Clarisse Obedkoff, 11, currently in her second year with the club came home with an impressive haul and had to do it while recovering from the flu. Obedkoff placed first in her 400IM, 200 free and 100 back, and was second in her 200IM and 200 fly qualifying for Age Group Championships in the 200 fly event with a time of 2:40.90. One age group above, teammate Katie Dunlop, 12, had the
swim meet of her life, winning her first ever provincial medals, qualifying for Age Group Championships and breaking two club records (1985, 1975). Dunlop dropped huge time in the 400IM (21 seconds) and the 200 free (11 seconds) to earn a pair of silvers, along with her bronze capping of the meet Sunday
night in the 400 free. Tia Itterman, 13, swam hard all weekend with plenty of best times in arguably the most competitive age group in the meet, breaking through on her last event of the meet to make her first final in the 200 free, narrowly missing a medal, placing fourth in 2:11.60 and earning her a Western Canadian qualifying time.
Monique Kennedy, coming off a strong meet in Kamloops a few weeks ago showed her experience, handling the pressure well and contributing to the medal haul with a silver in the 200 fly. Teammate Sydney Rankmore, in her first year as an AquaJet showed a lot of poise, swimming best times every time she hit the water, and qualifying for a final in the 400 IM, placing seventh and contributing points for the team.
On the boys sideJosh Zakala, kicked the weekend off for the team on Thursday night dropping 45 seconds off his 1500 free on his way to first place by a few lengths of the pool.
His time of 17:52 is a new club record, and currently the second nd fastest time in the country for his age. Zakala went on to win two more gold and three silver medals all the while shattering six clubs records, one of which was from 1978.
Teammate Christian Desjarlais proved his versatility, swimming his secondary events all weekend, making finals and more Western standards all the while winning the 100 fly (58.06) and bringing in 2 bronze medals in the 200 free (1:53.72) and 100 free (52.98). Desjarlais, 17, currently deciding his plans
for next year, with a few University scholorships on the table, made history on the weekend breaking two club records in the 100 fly, and 200 free. Rounding up the boys side, Erik Kruger had another great weekend, placing second in the 50 free for 15 year old boys, and making finals in the 100 fly and 200 breast. Sam McDonald had some big best times and a sixth place finish in the 200 breast stroke.
The competition marks the end of the short course (25 metre) season for the AquaJets. The team will now begin preparing for long course (50 metre) competitions over the spring and summer, gearing towards championship meets in July and August in Victoria, Montreal and Scotland.