Thirty-five clubs and 190 swimmers from across B.C., Canada and the U.S. participated in the BC Masters Swimming Provincial Championships last weekend at Kelowna’s H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre.
Hosted by Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC), the three-day event saw eight Canadian Masters and three U.S. Masters records fall, as well as several B.C. records.
The Okanagan was well represented, with KISU’s Okanagan Falls resident Glenn Carlsen (60-64) securing two Canadian records in the 800 and 1,500 meter freestyle and a B.C. record in the 400 meter freestyle.
“It’s always fun to race in Kelowna, because the people are always so friendly and welcoming,” Carlsen said. “Masters swimming is like getting together with family who all love to race.”
OMSC’s Betty Brussel (90-94) and Conny Stamhuis (85-89) showed true grit by setting new Canadian records in the 800 meter freestyle and 200 meter backstroke, respectively.
Not to be outdone by the ladies, Christopher Smith (85-89) of Trillium Masters Swim Club in Toronto set new Canadian records for the 50 meter freestyle and the 100 meter butterfly.
Edmonton’s Barry Lewis (55 – 59) secured the seventh individual Canadian record at the meet, for the 100 meter freestyle. Lewis was also part of the Edmonton Masters Swim Club relay team that set a new Canadian record for the combined age group 200-239 in the 200 meter medley relay, together with Barry Saretsky, Gail McGinnis and Deborah Younger.
World class swimmer Karlyn Pipes (55-59 ) of Palm Beach Masters broke three US Masters records in the 50 meter breaststroke, 200 meter freestyle and the grueling 400 meter individual medley, narrowly missing world records in each of these events. Pipes currently holds six FINA Masters world records in this age group.
Four B.C. records were broken by Victoria’s Avila Rhodes (60-64) in the 50, 100 and 200 meter freestyle and the 100 meter breaststroke. New B.C. records were set by OMSC’s Carmelle Guidi-Swan (45-49) in the 200 meter butterfly, Georgina Lopez (70-74) in the 50 meter freestyle and Vlad Shirokov (25-29) in the 50 meter breaststroke.
Masters swimming is about much more than setting records. It provides fun, friendship and fitness and allows individuals to challenge themselves in a safe environment.
OMSC won the Masters Swimming Association of British Columbia (MSABC) trophy as the team points leader, followed by English Bay Swim Club, Vancouver and Vernon Masters.
The volunteer committee, chaired by OMSC’s Norma Lachance, put in several hundred hours to make the 2017 provincials an enjoyable and memorable experience for swimmers, guests and officials.