It was the first meet of the year down in Prince Rupert and the Otters just had one thing to do- pick up where they had left off last season.
As usual, the team had a small group present but they showed their power. Kanna Kurihara, 12, sped to nine first place finishes that left everyone in her wake. Some of her swims went down as the fastest in the entire meet.
Kanna dominated her specialties, the 200 and 400 individual medley races. For good measure, she added the 100 butterfly, the 100 and 200 backstroke, the 200 breaststroke and the 400 freestyle. All seven swims became new club records with her performances.
Not to be outdone, her sister Kaede, 9, topped the field in all seven of her events. Swimming against athletes often a year older, she was able to take the 50 butterfly, 100 butterfly, backstroke and freestyle plus the 200 medley, backstroke and freestyle events.
For good measure, she combined with Milana Anokhina, 8, Sadie Durnin, 8, and Alina Kasum, 6, to win the 200 medley relay.
On the boy’s side, illness and injury took some toll but there were some great results nonetheless. Jules Tersago led the crew with wins in the 50 butterfly and freestyle races and added seconds in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles as well as the 100 backstroke and butterfly.
Kanna and Kaede were named the gold medal swimmers in their age groups while Tersago was a close second for silver in his.
Other top finishers for the girls included Anokhina winning the 50 freestyle and butterfly, the 100 breaststroke, and the 200 freestyle and seconds in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle. Erica Rooke was runner-up in the 200 and 400 freestyle, as well as third in the 50 butterfly and the 200 backstroke. In addition, Durnin took third in the 100 medley, 50 breaststroke and the 200 freestyle. Claire McAulay, 13, took third in the 200 freestyle.
For the boys, Liam Belanger,14, took the gruelling 400 medley, was second in the 200 backstroke and third in the 50 butterfly and the 100 backstroke.
Struck by a cold that has limited his training, Jean-Luc Belanger, 16, battled it out to a number of fourths and fifths which were very close to his top times.
Next meet for the Otters will be in Prince George later in November.