BV Otters swim with best in the province

Half a dozen members of the Bulkley Valley Otters swim team travelled to Victoria recently for the AAA Provincial Championships, as part of the Points North team covering the northwestern zone of B.C. Local swimmers included Brian Dohler, Brett Zollen, Tanner and Bailey Espersen, Gabrielle Correia and Cassandra Horning-Wandler.

Coach Ali Howard said the competition was great experience for the swimmers, with everyone earning new personal best times.

“There were a lot of club records broken,” she said.

Twelve year old Bailey had a number of top ten finishes, and the Otters’ only medal. He finished third in the 100m breaststroke, as well as fourth in the 200m breaststroke, eighth in the 50m freestyle, eighth in the 100m freestyle and eighth in the 1500m freestyle.

Twin brother Tanner had a number of solid results as well, including sixth place in the 200m butterfly, seventh in the 100m butterfly, and seventh in the 1500m freestyle, in which he dropped almost 20 seconds off his previous best time. Howard said he also swam the most consistent lap times in the race, including older age groups.

“Tanner was the only one that swam a perfectly paced race,” she said.

Zollen and Dohler also performed well, despite having recently competed in the Western Canadian Championships only two weeks previous. Both 16 year olds were swimming at the younger end of the group in the 16-to-18 category.

Zollen finished seventh in the 100m breaststroke as well as the 100m butterfly, and eighth in both the 50m freestyle and the 200m breaststroke. Both swimmers took part in four-man relay teams, finishing eighth in the 800m freestyle relay, and tenth in the 200m medley relay. Dohler finished eleventh in the 1500m freestyle, dropping 15 seconds from his previous best time.