Local swimmers earned nine first-place finishes at the CRKW Eliminator Invitational in Campbell River.
Three members of the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club took part in the swim meet, which was held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Strathcona Gardens.
“It was for two of them, their first meet of the year,” said Orcas coach Dusan Toth-Szabo. “They had really good placings. It was a good opportunity to see where we are.”
Thirteen-year-old Aileen Humphreys finished first or second in all of her events.
She took 14.83 off her time in the 1,500m freestyle to win in 20:13.60, while she earned a new personal best time in the 100m backstroke to win the event, fishing in 1:18.91, 1.28 seconds better than her previous best time.
Aileen also won the 100m breaststroke (1:20.52), the 50m breaststroke (37.64) and the 200m breaststroke (2:54.54). She also finished second in the 200m freestyle with a time of 2:30.95.
Aileen’s highlight was the 1,500m freestyle.
“It’s a big race, and I took off about 13 seconds,” she said. “When I raced it, I kept lapping the people who were racing me, and I kept my own pace.”
Next up for Aileen is the AAA provincials.
“I’m definitely excited and very nervous too,” she said.
Fourteen-year-old Shane Valic earned top-five finishes in all of his events and won two in his first meet of the season.
Valic improved his time in the 100m breaststroke by 3.61 seconds to win with a time of 1:31.13. He also won the 100m backstroke, finessing the race in 1:24:76.
Valic earned three second-place finishes, improving his time in each event. He was second in the 50m freestyle with a time of 29.38 and a 0.85-second improvement, second in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 40.10 and an improvement of 3.38 seconds, and second in the 100m freestyle with a time of 1:06.04 and an improvement of 1.17 seconds.
Valic also finished fourth in the 50m butterfly, finishing the race in 36 seconds.
Valic says his highlight from the meet is his 50m freestyle.
“I felt really good about that swim,” he said. “Considering it was my first swim meet of this season, I felt I did really good in the 50m freestyle. Throughout the whole meet, I felt really good, and I improved.”
Valic’s next meet will be the Duncan meet this weekend.
He says he really wants to work on his 50m freestyle and get at least his AA-qualifying times and then work on qualifying times for the AAAs.
Competing in his first meet of the season, 16-year-old Morgan Humphreys won two races. He finished first in the 200m butterfly with a time of 3:04.52, and his time of 5:52.22 was good for first place in the 400m individual medley.
Morgan was fourth in the 50m butterfly (34.89) and the 200m freestyle (2:32.04), and he also finished fifth in the 100m freestyle with a time of 1:10.58. He also improved his time in the 50m freestyle by 0.43 seconds to finish in 32.25 and finish seventh.
For Morgan, the 200m freestyle was a highlight.
“It was my second time doing it,” he said.
“And it looked really good,” his sister, Aileen, noted.
Overall, Morgan was happy with his performance at the meet.
“It was pretty good, “he said. “I added a bit of time to some events, but some of them were pretty good.”