Orcas set club records in May

Members of the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club earned new club records and best times at three May swim meets.

The Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club stockpiled a store of new club records and best times while competing at three May meets.

Their winning streak began with Island Swimming’s long-course Medley Challenge at the Saanich Commonwealth Pool May 11 and 12.

Twelve-year-old Shane Valic and his teammate Faith Knelson, 11, scored two club records apiece in Saanich. Valic set new Orcas records in 50 Fly (38.80 seconds) and 200 IM (3:09.32) while Knelson set new club standards for 50 Free (29.90) and 50 Breast (36.48).

Orcas coach Dusan Toth-Szabo said swimmers were ranked based on aggregate times at the Medley Challenge — the total combined time it took swimmers to complete either 50 metres or 100 metres each of Free, Breast, Fly and Back — and Knelson added a top age-group aggregate time to her club record tally.

Toth-Szabo said all of his swimmers improved at least some of their times at the Medley Challenge, but 11-year-old Noah Herle posted the biggest improvements overall. Herle dropped close to seven seconds off his 50 Free time (37.07) and 12 seconds off his personal best in 50 Fly (48.54).

One week later, Knelson competed as the club’s lone representative at the Hyack Festival Youth Cup in New Westminster.

Knelson posted improved times in eight of 13 swims, finishing second overall in 100 Breast (1:18.90) and first in 50 Free (28.81).

Knelson set four new club records in the process — two of which were improvements of records she set previously, Toth-Szabo said — and now ranks in the top three in Canada in a total of nine events.

Toth-Szabo said Knelson holds “three firsts, three seconds and three thirds among 11-year-olds in Canada” and in 50 Breast, she’s ranked first in Canada for girls aged 12 and under.

“That’s a good thing, Toth-Szabo added, “because we have the nationals coming up and at nationals, she’ll compete as a 12-and-under.”

Eight Orcas attended an “in-house” meet hosted by the Campbell River Killer Whales May 26 that  Orcas coach Aisha Alsop described as “the best meet ever.”

The one-day meet ran from 8 a.m. until noon, Alsop said, and resulted in 10-year-old Ethan Alsop —Aisha’s son — earning his first AA time.