Josh Zakala gained some valuable experience and set six club records in the process competing last week at the Canadian senior national swim trials in Scarborough.
The 17-year-old Kelowna AquaJets athlete swam against the country’s best where Canada’s teams were chosen for the Pan Am Championships and FINA world championships later this year.
Zakala posted five best times in his six events.
His prelim times earned him a spot in an A and B final in the 400 IM and 200 backstroke.
Zakala came out of the meet placing 10th (400 IM), 15th (200 back), 16th (1500 free), 23rd (200 IM), 30th (400 free), and 43rd (200 free).
Despite also attending trials this time last year, Josh had to battle with his nerves at the meet.
“I have never been so nervous in my life,” said Zakala. “The guys beside me were so huge.” Josh’s 1500m free on the last day of the competition broke a significant barriers, getting himself under the 16 minute-mark for the first time, finishing in 15 minutes 59 seconds.
Head Coach Peter Wilkins explained that the results were a little shy of what Zakala was working towards, but the improvement is always a positive sign.
Zakala will take the experience with him to Australia as where he is part of the Swim Canada junior team initiative.
The trip will include a competition at the Australian Age Group Championships in Sydney, as well as a training camp.