Salmon Arm Waves Masters swim club enjoyed unprecedented success at the annual Canadian Masters swim championships held May 26-28 at the MNP Community & Sport Centre in Calgary.
With every team member earning points for top-eight finishes, Salmon Arm won the title banner for highest average per swimmer.
Coach Sam Barkwell led a group of eight hopefuls into an unusually strong field. Entries included more than 600 swimmers from 47 teams across the country, with an age range from 18-99. Racers competed according to gender, and a five-year spread for their age category.
Veteran Bob Wilkins led the group in points after taking gold in five events, including the gruelling 400-metre individual medley, and adding two additional silvers. Laura Kiehlbauch and Rudi Ingenhorst also medaled in each of their six individual events. Scott McKee teamed with Barkwell and two others for gold in the 200m medley relay, and added silver in the 800m and 1500m freestyle. Barkwell himself won the 800m freestyle and placed second in the 100 breaststroke.
“My expectations were far exceeded with the number of personal bests and consistent top finishes from our group over all three days,” said Barkwell. “The competition was very tough this year, with multiple Canadian records and three world records broken over the weekend.”
Former Blind Bay resident Linda MacPherson entered a new age group this year, and set five new Canadian records in freestyle events.
The Salmon Arm Waves membership is currently 50-strong. The majority are recreational swimmers for fun and fitness, but opportunities exist for competition at regional, national and world levels. New participants are welcome when sessions resume at the SASCU Rec Centre in September 2023. Interested individuals can go to salmonarmwaves.ca.
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