The Bulkley Valley Otters swam their way to 10 pool records at a regional meet in Terrace last weekend, and it was the young athletes who rose to the top.
The club brought 14 swimmers (one of the smallest teams at the meet) to the Northwest B.C. Regional Swimming Championships and finished third overall just behind Prince Rupert and Kitimat.
“We had a very good meet,” said head coach Tom Best. “The little guys looked so different from everybody else’s kids. They looked like swimmers, technically they were just so much better.”
Eight-year-old Jordyn Vertue, one of the youngest swimmers of the meet, kicked her way to six pool records, competing against athletes who were roughly three years older than her.
“She had to swim against the 11-year-olds . . . Some of those records are more than 20 years old,” said Best.
“She is a tough kid. She outperformed the other kids on the fly with technique,” said Best.
She also captured first in the 100-metre fly, second place in the 200-metre free, and third-place finishes in the 400-metre free, 100-back, 50-breast, and 200-individual medley (IM).
Thirteen-year-old River Stokes-DeYoung walked away with four first-place finishes in the 100-free, 400-free, 100-fly and 400-IM. On top of that, he also finished third in the 100 breaststroke and third place overall.
“He tried to work on the things that we’ve been working on despite the fact that he hasn’t been feeling well,” said Best. “He’s a tough kid . . . he’s developing quite nicely.”
Bailey Espersen was battling the flu, but still managed to swim to first place in the 200 and 400 IM and the 200 free; while brother Tanner had wins in the 100 back and 100 IM.
Tanner, Bailey and Gabby Correia also set pool records.
Up next, a few club members will head to Edmonton for the 2015 Speedo Western Champs in February.