The Liquid Lightning's provincial gold medal-winning medley relay team: (from left) Bree Cooper

Smith tunes up for Pan Ams with strong provincials

Liquid Lightning and Kelowna AquaJets swimmers medal at B.C. AAA championships

Led by Canadian senior team member Kierra Smith, the Liquid Ligntning Swim Club placed 16th out of 50 teams at the Swim BC AAA Provincial Championships in Victoria, while setting    27 club records and swimming to 50 personal best times.

As she prepares for the Pan Am Games next week in Toronto, Smith set the pace with four gold medals in 50 and 200 breast, 200 and 400IM, and also set a new club record.

Pierson Piche swam to 100 per cent best times, took 30 seconds off his 400 free, walking away with silver in 50, 100 and 200 back, bronze in the 200 free, three fifth-place efforts  in 100 free, 200IM and 400 free, while setting eight new club records.

Lincoln Hoel swam to bronze medals in the 50 breast and 400IM, dropped 21 seconds in his 200 fly to place 6th had a 6th place finish in 100 fly 7th place in 800 free and 8th place finishes in 50 free and fly and set three new club records.

Craig Mathieson had an 8th place finish in his 200 breast and set five new club records while Saveli Yungman dropped 21 seconds in his 200 back and also set five new club records.

Gabrielle Hanvold swam to two seventh-place finishes in 50 and 100 free and set a new club record, while Christina Russo swam to a silver medal in the 50 fly and set a new club record. Others swimming to a new club record were Bryce Molder, Jessica Forbes and Bree Cooper. Bree swam to a bronze medal in the 50 fly, silver in 100 breast, 4th in 50 breast, 5th in 200 fly and a 6th place finish in 100 fly.

In a very exciting end to the meet the girls medley relay team consisting of Jessica Forbes Bree Cooper, Kierra Smith, and Christina Russo just out-touched Richmond Rapids by one tenth of a second to win the gold medal.

Other great swims came from Ava Toyata, Kassidie Cornell, Brock Hoel, Marc Toyata and Christina Wright.


The Kelowna AquaJets posted some good results at a pair of provincial competitions over the last two weeks.

Members of the Jets were in Kamloops June 26 to 28 for the B.C. AA Championships, then competed in Victoria July 2 to 6 at the B.C. AAA provincials and Open Water Championships.

“Our team did a great job at both events, I am really proud of our teams accomplishments from both meets,” said Jets coach Peter Wilkins.

In Kamloops, Taylor Desrosier got the three-swimmer team to a good start with a silver medal in the 200 IM Friday night.

Desrosier also made top 8 in 50 Free (7th), 100 Free (8th), and 200 Back (5th).

Paige Foster collected a gold in the 200 Breast and placed 5th in the 100 Breast.

Megan Elkin had three top-8 performances, 50 Free (8th), 100 Free (7th) and 200 IM (8th).

In Victoria, eight Jets competed over five days of pool and open water events, amassing 35 best times, seven club records, and 15 top-eight swims.

Highlighting the weekend were medal performances by senior club member Josh Zakala, 17, in the Open Men’s category.

Zakala defended his title in the 5km Open Water race on Monday in a time of 57 minutes nine seconds, as well as picking up a silver in his 200 IM.

Zakala broke six club records in two age categories in all three butterfly events, setting new marks at in the 50, 100 and 200 meter events.

Making some splashes of her own, Axana Merckx, 14, swam her way into a handful of finals in the Girls 14-15 category, posting times that qualified her for the Canadian Age Group Championships in three weeks time in Quebec City. Merckx clocked under the standards in her 200 IM, 200 Back and 100 Back.

The 100 back time was good enough to give her a share of the club record for the 13-14 girls, tying the mark set by Katie Dunlop in 2012.

On Monday, Merckx had a great race in the Girls 2km Open Water, placing 4th.

Other teammates swimming into the top eight were Ella Rolleston, 11, placing 4th, 6th and 8th in the 200 and 100 and 50m Fly events.

Emily Epp, 15, placing 4th and 8th in the 800 and 400 Freestyle events.

Molly Hill, 13, placing 5th in the 50 Fly; Erin Epp, 11, placing 6th in the 50 Breast.

Marius Prietzsch and Brandon Mullin competed in the event each posting five and three personal best times.



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