Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club had numerous swimmers receive personal best times in its most recent competition.
The team travelled south to Saanich Commonwealth Place in Victoria Dec. 6 to Dec. 8 to compete in the Xmas Cracker Invitational, the last major swim meet of the calendar year.
Pamela Little, Morgan McKenzie, Brielle Woodruff, Faith Knelson, Courtney Chanin, Chantal Greenhalgh, Aileen Humphreys and Morgan Humphreys all competed.
“There was two things I was really happy about,” said coach Dusan Toth-Szabo. “Everybody got multiple best times and every one of them was able to swim a decent swim, not only in one stroke but two or more strokes.”
All of the swimmers competed in at least one event for fly, free and back stroke with some swimming in breast stroke contests as well.
“They’re really familiar with all of the strokes and that’s really important for me at this age,” said Toth-Szabo. “This Xmas Cracker is a pretty big one as most of the clubs from the Island, two from the Lower Mainland and two of the best teams from Alberta come out for it.
“It was an important one right before Christmas as we a take a little break after. Then we go into the short course championship season starting with the Vancouver Island Regionals. Then we have AAA championships which is the B.C. provincials in Kamloops and two weeks after that it’s the Western Canadians. Westerns is the highest level short course meet and then we go into the long course season after that.”
Swimming sensation Faith Knelson competed in 15 events at the Xmas Cracker, winning 14 of them.
“I take swimming very seriously,” she said. It’s one of my main sports and I love it. I love working hard as it pays off.”
Knelson is now looking forward to 2014 and the big meets coming up early in the new year.
“I have three big AAA short course meets. Then it’s the long course season including nationals and westerns but it’s 15 and under for that. I have a chance of making finals, but they’re pretty slim, as there’s a lot of older more muscular, educated girls with more experience. But I’d like to see where it takes me and I’m very excited.”
Of Knelson’s 15 events at the Xmas Cracker, she also achieved personal best times in 13 of them.
Elsewhere, Aileen Humphreys finished fourth in the 12 and under 1500m free.
Morgan Humphreys smashed his personal best in the male 15 and over 400m individual medley, taking over 14 seconds off his previous best.
Chantal Greenhalgh took 9.94 seconds off her previous best in the 100m back.
Brielle Woodruff beat her personal best by nearly 8 seconds in the 12 and under free.
Pamela Little took nearly 10 seconds off her previous best time in the female aged 13 to 14 100m breast stroke.
Morgan McKenzie took a whopping 20.87 seconds off her previous best in the female 13 to 14 200m back.
And Courtney Chanin also achieved personal bests in three out of the six events she competed in.