Setting new records has become a mainstay among members of the Selkirks swim team.
Recently, the club participated in two swim meets: the first was in Vernon and the second in Kelowna.
Each meet was a different format which created new opportunities and challenges for coaching staff and swimmers.
Vernon offered a “heats plus finals” program similar to an Olympic program.
At these events all the swimmers swim in the morning heats and the top eight swimmers from the preliminaries, in each of the many age groups, return in the evening to swim for points, personal best times and awards.
These types of meets are very helpful acclimatizing swimmers to the next level of swimming which requires swimming fast in the morning, then eating right and getting some sleep before coming back to race for the hardware.
“The club’s swimmers have been working very hard on building their fitness and endurance,” said coach Barry Healey.
At the same time they have been improving their technical skills, as well as focusing on goal setting and race pacing.
The hard work leading up to the Vernon meet paid off for all the swimmers and the small but very talented group of swimmers continued the level of success that was started in Penticton at the KISU Iron Pentathlon in October.
During the two days of competition, the members of the Selkirk Team broke 16 club records and 53 personal best times were achieved.
These brilliant swims and performances were rewarded with 12 gold, 14 silver and nine bronze medals.
The entire team made finals after swimming very fast in the mornings and every athlete who attended the meet achieved personal best times and points for the club.
This past weekend the club travelled to Kelowna to the H20 Centre with an eight-lane, 50-metre, Olympic-size pool.
During a swimming season, a Swimming Canada club like the Selkirks has two types of competitions: the fall/winter season is termed the “short course season” during which most events take place in a 25-metre pool and the April to July season is termed the “long course season” during which the team competes in 50-metre Olympic pools.
Swimming competitions are comprised of a selection from 13 events ranging from short (25 or 50 metres) to very long (800 and 1500 metres).
In addition, for those that like lakes, there are even longer open water swimming events which are also included in the Olympics.
In Kelowna, the team immediately resumed the racing mode demonstrated in Vernon and several of the records that were set in Vernon fell.
In addition, many athletes swam events for the first time this season.
The swimmers were pumped from the results they had just had in Vernon and were excited to show off their skills in the excellent H2O facility.
Thirty-three records were broken by the club swimmers in events ranging from 50-metre freestyle to 1500-m freestyle, a daunting 60 lengths of the pool.
The gold rush also carried over with the team collecting 18 golds, six silver and five bronze medals.
All the races at this meet were timed finals (heats only swims).
Also worthy of note is that 49 personal best times were achieved. Interestingly, this was a mixed age group and mixed gender event where different ages and genders raced against each other totally according to their entry times.
This made the racing exciting, helped to build team spirit and fostered respect for teammates.
“It’s difficult to identify any single swimmer as standing out, with so many improving and racing so very hard,” said Healey.
“What is apparent is the depth of the club as the top level continues to grow.”
So far this season, swimmers who broke club records, swimmers scoring points and swimmers making finals are Ethan Skofteby, 12, Claire Hall, 16, Maggie Manning, 15, Chantel Jeffrey, 14, Molly Fogarty, 14, Ty Webster – Locke, 16, Matthew Nesdoly, 16, Ethan Quilty, 16, Olin Mosher, 15, Torrey Mckee, 16, Thomas Flahr, 17, Lauren Gridley-Haack, 12, Eva Mosher, 12, Logan Pilias, 18, Nathan Davis-Lentz, 12, and Lauren Ough, 13.
The club is back in training and will compete next in Kamloops on Dec. 11 to 13.
This three-day meet will have both preliminary heats and finals.
Coach Healey is exceptionally pleased with the efforts of all swimmers, both in training and competition.
“Of special note is that the team has set 94 records since they returned to training in September,” said Healey.