It’s been a record-breaking two-week stretch for the Kelowna AquaJets Swim Club.
Two weeks ago the local team hosted a one-day distance meet, then last weekend the Jets swam in three different meets in Vernon and Coquitlam.
Head Coach Peter Wilkins is thrilled to see so many swimmers attending the competitions.
“It was an awesome feeling this weekend knowing that more than half of our total team, 82 swimmers, are away from home and competing,” said Wilkins.
At the distance meet on Nov. 4, there were 18 swimmers competing in their first longer race (400, 800 or 1500 meter distances), but the highlights were shown on the record board with three new club records in the 1500 free.
Axana Merckx swam 24 minutes and 59 seconds to break the girls 10 and under record, while Clarisse Obedkoff shaved over a minute off the old record swimming in the 11-12 girls in 19 minutes and 36 seconds.
Teammate Josh Zakala also broke the existing KAJ record by over one minute in the boys 13-14 category in 17 minutes and 40 seconds.
In Coquitlam, Zakala broke a record in the 400 free by 15 seconds, swimming 4 minutes 30 seconds.
On the podium KAJ saw Tia Itterman and Julien Roberts both nabbing silver medals in the distance swims. Obedkoff showed some grit in the pool, swimming her way to three medals, two silver (100 free and 100 back) and one bronze (50 free).
Zakala also added to the haul with a surprise bronze in the 200br, dropping eight seconds from his best time.
Other finalists from the team were T’Keya Delwo, Theo Mohamed and Katie Dunlop.
Swimmers with 100 per cent best times were Joelle da Silva, Haley Martin and Sophie Schroeder.
At the same time up the valley in Vernon, the AquaJets had 18 swimmers competing. The meet was highlighted with two new qualifiers for AA Provincials in Chilliwack in February.
Axana Merckx qualified in the 200m back and teammate Jaya Melnyk in the 200m breast.
The team also saw a lot of younger swimmers up on the podium. Amber Crack won a silver in the 100 fr, and Sam McDonald a bronze in the 50 breast. Molly Hill and Axana Merckx cleaned up the medals in the10 and under girls category with 8 (800 fr, 50 bk, 100 fly, 200 bk, 50 fr, 50 fl, 200 br an 100 fr) and 5 medals (50 bk, 800 fr, 200 bk, 50 fl, 200 bk). Younger brother to Sam, Max McDonald had a strong showing winning six medals for the team in 50 bk, 50 br, 200 bk, 100 br, 50 fl and 100 fr. Other finalists for the team were Nicolas Griffen, Hallie Jenkins, Jaya Melnyk and Michael Patora. Swimmers with 100 per cent best times were Madison Kornell and Miah Lafluer. Later on Sunday the AquaJets had 38 swimmers swim in the Jamboree meet making them the largest team at the meet. The Aquajets had three new qualifiers make their regional standard in the 200IM, Cayle Cronquist, Angelina Clark, Megan Elkin.
The AquaJets are back to practice for two weeks before hosting the Pinnacle Elite Athlete Swim Meet on Nov. 26 and 27 at the H20. For more information please visit www.kelownaaquajets.com