As they get ready for the championship season, which starts in June, the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas continue to set the bar high in the swimming pool.
At the Long Course Medley Challenge May 9-11 in Saanich, nine swimmers represented the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club in this timed-finals event, and many came away with personal best times and top three finishes.
Twelve-year-old Aileen Humphreys earned two more age group national standard times at the meet in the 200m breaststroke and the 100m breaststroke, so she has now qualified in three events after earning the national time standard in the 50m breaststroke in late April. Her 2:55.47 in the 200m breaststroke was a personal best by 6.86 seconds and is the second-best time in Canada for her age group.
At the meet, Humphreys finished third in the 200m breaststroke, competing in the female senior category, and she finished third in the 100m breaststroke, competing in the 15 and under category.
“It was exciting, kind of scary, very thrilling,” Humphreys said of earning the national time standard, adding that it makes her think that she’s a better swimmer.
Humphreys says she feels “very happy” heading into the championship season and that earning the national time standard is a confidence boost. She attributes her success this season to making a change in her technique and to practising a bit more.
Shane Valic, who is 13, earned a club record in the 50m butterfly with his time of 34.52, which earned him a fourth-place finish. Valic took third place in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 43.59.
Swimming against older girls, 10-year-old Brielle Woodruff made the AA standard for the 100m freestyle with a time of 1:19.84, a time that is a personal best by 3.02 seconds.
In Saanich, 12-year-old Faith Knelson won the 200m individual medley, 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke and finished second in the 400m freestyle.
Chantal Greenhalgh, 11, earned a second-place finish in the 50m breaststroke and was third in the 50m butterfly.
Twelve-year-old Noah Herle took 1.68 seconds off his time in the 50m butterfly, while 15-year-old Morgan Humphreys finished third in the 400m freestyle after taking 7.75 seconds off his time.
Cecilia Johnson, who is 15, finished sixth in the 800m freestyle, while 14-year-old Pamela Little improved her times in the 50m freestyle and the 100m breaststroke.
On May 4, four swimmers from Ladysmith-Chemainus competed in the May The Fourth Be With You meet at the Ravensong Aquatic Centre, and all four finished first or second in their events.
“It was totally awesome,” said coach Aisha Alsop. “It’s a beautiful pool and a fun, fun meet with lots of little ones. Our kids were probably the oldest.”
When the meet began, all the timers followed Darth Vader out to the pool, and there was a lady wearing Princess Leia ears.
“It was a hoot, lots of fun, and they had a barbecue after,” said Alsop.
At the meet, seven-year-old Aiden Jeffries finished first in the 25m breaststroke and the 25m butterfly and second in the 50m backstroke and the 50m freestyle.
Cole Porter, who is eight, won all four of his events — the 25m backstroke, 25m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.
Twelve-year-old Kyele Murray left the pool with four second-place finishes in the 100m breaststroke, 100m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle.
Shane Valic, 13, was first in all of his events, winning the 50m butterfly, 100m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle.
Next up for the Orcas is the Vancouver Island Regional Championships June 6-8 in Nanaimo.