The Kelowna AquaJets continued a successful, fast and fun competitive season with a medal haul from the AAA provincial championships in Victoria on the weekend.
The Kelowna-based team sent 10 swimmers to Victoria with the group setting 10 new club records while bringing home 15 medals from the championships.
“There is an exciting energy surrounding swimming these days,” says AquaJets coach Pete Wilkins. “When an athlete truly believes in themselves and what they are capable of great things happen and it becomes contagious. This weekend was a true team effort with first time provincial medal finishes from members of the team and some great relay swims.”
The meet was highlighted by a gold medal swim and national standard from 12 year old Sam McDonald in the 200 breaststroke. McDonald’s first provincial AAA medal will send him off to Montreal for nationals in two weeks time with eight other AquaJets.
Other gold medal performances came from Clarisse Obedkoff in the 200 back, 200 IM and 400 IM. Despite battling the flu over the weekend Obedkoff also earned a pair of silvers in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle events.
Teammate Katie Dunlop brought back a handful of hardware in the 12 year old girls category in record times. Dunlop won silver in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, setting new club records in both. Dunlop also rewrote history in the 50 freestyle (3rd place), 800 freestyle (3rd place) and 100 breaststroke. She also claimed a bronze in the 200 freestyle.
Julien Roberts continued his recent hot streak this summer dropping big time in all his events, over two and a half minutes in his mile (1,500m Free), and another six seconds in his 200 butterfly to finish 3rd. Roberts was narrowly out-touched for 3rd place in the 100 fly.
Christian Desjarlais, the team’s oldest member, who is off to Trinity Western University on scholarship this fall, was up against B.C.’s best seniors and was still able to break a long standing AquaJets record 200 freestyle.
The last two swims for the team were had by Tia Itterman and Josh Zakala in the 400 freestyle, both were great swims, which brought back bronze and silver medals respectively.
“I am thrilled to have such a strong in season meet heading into our peak meet, nationals in Montreal,” said Wilkins. “This team really set the bar high, showing that we are not just going to Montreal to swim, but to compete.”
The team has a few more weeks to prepare for the big show in Montreal which will boast over 1,300 of Canada’s best swimmers aged 11 to 18.