It’s been quite a while since the local Otters swim club has hosted a regional meet but it was hard to tell last weekend as they had outstanding performances in the latest version of the Spring Sprint competition.
Just over 100 swimmers participated in the races. Teams from Prince Rupert, Terrace, and Kitimat braved the threatening weather to lock horns with the local Otters Feb. 25 and 26 at the BV Regional pool.
Ten members of the team touched first in at least one event while an additional eight reached the wall for a second or third place in their age categories.
Leading the wave for the Otters was Sawyer Preston, 9, with wins in the 25 and 50-metre freestyles, 50 backstroke, and 50 breaststroke. Showing his versatility, he took a second in the 100 backstroke and a third in the 50 butterfly.
Preston also swam on the 200 freestyle and medley relays which placed second.
For his efforts, Preston took home the aggregate silver medal.
Another pair of Otters each scored three wins in the 10 and under boys category.
Nolan Zandberg added to the Otter’s dominance in the 25 backstroke, 25 breaststroke and 400 free and took a third place in the 50 breaststroke.
Nine-year-old Patrick Anokhin was a force to contend with as he splashed his way to wins in the 25 butterfly, and breaststroke races.
Moving up an age group, Milana Anokhina,12, dominated the 100 individual medley (IM) and swam to close second place finishes in the 200 IM, 50 and 100 breaststrokes, and 50 and 100 freestyles.
Continuing to show her versatility, Sadie Durnin, 12, took the 100 butterfly, to go with a second in the 100 IM and thirds in the 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke.
With a wide variety of events to choose from, there was plenty to go around for all. Swimmers such as 10-year-old Adelai England have been working hard to develop their skills and it paid off with a win in the 25 breaststroke to go with second place finishes in the 25 butterfly, 100 freestyle and 100 IM and a third in the 50 backstroke.
Peter Burns, 10, in his first meet, showed he will be a force to contend with as he notched a win in the 100 IM to go with a pair of second places in the 50 breaststroke and 50 butterfly and thirds in the 50 back and 100 free.
Three other Otters touched the wall first. Callie Watrick, 8, in the 25 backstroke; Miah Zandberg, 8, in the 25 freestyle; and Patrick Flynn, 9, in the 25 butterfly. Each of them also added a second-place finish.
Second-place finishers in a variety of events included nine-year-olds Everitt England, Makenna MacNeil and Hunter Wide, 11.
Addison MacNeil, 11, and Evie Stam, 9, added their talents to second-place finishes on relays.
Two other swimmers added to the second-place relay swims to go with great personal performances.
Three swimmers also added to the great performances with third-place individual swims. Piper Campbell, 9, had four, six-year-old Hunter MacNeil finished with a pair and Kiera Bredow, 11, Addie Holmes 14, and Hanna Hirshfield, 7, each notched a single third place.
Head Coach Tom Best said he was more than pleased with the results.
“It’s without a doubt one of the best meets I’ve had as a coach. The kids swam great and the meet organization was superb,” he said.
Best indicated that anything over 50 per cent best times would make any coach happy, so with around 95 per cent the performance was outstanding.
He explained the Otters are in a rebuild phase like many programs and the results from the weekend are very encouraging.
For many swimmers, it was their first meet, and many were trying events they had never done before.
“The skills we have been working on showed up very nicely. The team spirit was fantastic. And the results were extraordinary,” he said.
In addition, it was the first time many parents had conducted such a meet, and it went off very smoothly.