Eight-year-old Kaede Kurihara powers her way to a strong second place finish in the 100 individual medley at the Prince Rupert Invitational. (Tom Best photo)

90% personal bests for Bulkley Valley Otters

Top finishes in Prince Rupert were made sweeter with best swims of their lives.

It was a small group representing the Bulkley Valley Otters Swim Club, but they made their presence known in no small manner at the final meet of the competitive swimming season.

Swimming in the Prince Rupert Invitational Swim Meet, 10-year-old Kanna Kurihara finished her brilliant season with another pair of club records in addition to six first-place finishes. She was named top swimmer in her age category for her performance.

Kurihara has set 18 club records in a wide range of strokes and distances.

This weekend, Kurihara ruled the waves in the 50, 100, 200 and 400 freestyle races as well as the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. She set a record as the lead-off swimmer on the medley relay and another in the 100 individual medley in a special time trail.

Coach Tom Best said that while she was a dominant force in her races, she was always trying to do things better and improve her results.

“She’s always paying attention to her technique. She would come out of her races and basically tell me what she needed to do to get better. She has a promising future with that attitude,” he said.

Teammate Fergus Hobson took the bronze medal for his overall performance in the senior boys division. His wins in his specialty, the butterfly, left no doubt about his improvement in that stroke. This season, he has become the top 200 meter butterflier in the region and this weekend was no exception.

He gave his competitors a lesson in how-it’s-done by using his turns to advantage and pulling away every time he pushed off a wall in the 100 and 200 meter races.

He also took a pair of seconds in the 50 and 200 meter freestyle contests to go with a pair of thirds in the 50 butterfly and 400 freestyle.

Yoshun Kita Sternberg, 11, took first in the 25-metre butterfly to round out the team’s first place honours.

Another 11-year-old, Ashton Wille, took second in the 11-12 boys 50m breast as well as thirds in the 50 fly, 50 back and 100 free. He was the fastest 11-year-old in most of his races, which were in the 11-12 category.

Kaede Kurihara was the top eight-year-old swimmer in the meet. Competing against nine and 10-year-olds, she had second place finishes in the the 50 butterfly and the 100 Individual medley.

Overall the team made their presence known as they swam to over 90 per cent personal best times.

–Submitted by Bulkley Valley Otters.

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Kanna Kurihara dominated the competition at the Prince Rupert Invitational Swim Meet with six individual wins, including the 100 meter butterfly. Tom Best photo

Fergus Hobson (left) took the bronze for his overall performance while Kanna Kurihara (right) topped the field for a gold medal with six first place swims at the Prince Rupert Invitational. (Tom Best photo)

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