Four Orca swimmers went to the AAA provincials

Four Orca swimmers went to the AAA provincials

Orca swimmer on the way to the top

She’s only been swimming since she was seven, but this Ladysmith girl is making waves.

With her toothy grin, fresh face and perky ponytail, nine-year-old Orca swimmer, Faith Knelson, loves and lives to swim.

“I like the competition,” she said. “I feel confident in myself that I can do it.”

Knelson, and other Ladysmith Orcas, just got back from championships in Chilliwack, Feb. 11 to 13, where she swam her best time of 1:30.87.

Knelson is now number one in Canada for girls born in 2001 in the 100m breaststroke.

“I felt really happy and excited and proud,” she said of ranking so high.

She said her favourite stroke is the breaststroke. “My coach says it’s my best and I really like it and I’m doing really well in it.”

Knelson swims four times a week now, but still finds time for piano lessons and dance — not to mention school work.

“Her marks are good,” said mom, Shelley Anderson. “She seems to be balancing everything.”

Knelson said the support from her friends, the other swimmers, her parents and her coach have helped tremendously.

Anderson said a lot of credit is due to coach Dusan Toth-Szabo.

“He’s really the reason the club has excelled to the level it has.”

Knelson said she took up swimming after a mother – daughter conversation following a particularly cold baseball game.

“When I was 7, I came home from baseball freezing cold and went into the bath,” Knelson explained. “I told my mom I wanted to win trophies so I picked swimming.”

Her mom backed the story up.

“We had a conversations about it and went through all the sports — that’s how it happened.”

Knelson said she’s going to keep swimming competitively as long as she can.

“Probably because I like swimming,” she said. “I love the water.”

She said when she’s up on the block about to jump in she pumps herself up with a mantra of: “You’re going to get your best time, you’re going to do it.”

And so far her determination has paid off.

“I’m just going to keep believing in myself that I can do it.”

Four Orcas just got back from the AAA provincial championships, March 5 and 6.

Maria de Leeuw, Darby Rae, Knelson and Bailey McLeod all got best times and broke club records.

de Leeuw won a silver and a bronze and made finals, as well.