Every swimmer earned at least one new personal best time, and club records continued to fall, as the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas competed at the Island Pacific Cup swim meet Nov. 7-9.
Eight members of the swim club travelled to Saanich for the meet, and each swimmer had a best time in at least one event, and there were many highlights.
Thirteen-year-old Faith Knelson continued her winning ways, earning seven gold medals, one silver and one bronze. Her golds came in the 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 200m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke, while her silver medal came in the 50m butterfly, and she earned her bronze medal in the 400m individual medley.
“Every single event was a new club record,” noted coach Dusan Toth-Szabo.
Thirteen-year-old Aileen Humphreys won two silver medals and one bronze, and she had nine best times. She finished second in the 100m individual medley and the 50m breaststroke and was third in the 100m breaststroke.
Fourteen-year-old Pamela Little swam a best time in all of her events.
Hubert Wong, who is also 14, had best times in all of his events and also set a new club record in the 50m breaststroke, shaving 0.43 seconds off the record he set just weeks earlier.
Toth-Szabo was impressed that 12-year-old Chantal Greenhalgh had best times in every single event, while Morgan Humphreys, who is 16, had best times in all but one event, and he made a final in the 200m breaststroke, where he finished eighth.
“He had a really good meet,” said Toth-Szabo.
Twelve-year-old Noah Herle had four best times during the meet, while 15-year-old Cecilia Johnson earned a new personal best in the 50m backstroke.
Overall, Toth-Szabo was impressed by the club members’ performances — especially because they had been practising really hard for that meet.
“That was the first so-called bigger meet, with teams from all over the Island, some teams from the Mainland and a team from Oregon,” said Toth-Szabo. “Overall, even though they supposedly were tired, they did a bunch of best times, so it was pretty good.”
Humphreys says he felt really good about the Island Pacific Cup.
“I got mostly best times, so that was good,” he said. “Whenever I go to meets, I try to meet new people, so making new friends is always great — and seeing old friends too.”
Humphreys feels freestyle is his strongest stroke.
Greenhalgh was happy because she got a best time in her 50m butterfly.
“I never liked it before, and now I’m getting to like butterfly,” she said, adding she thinks it is because she is doing it more in practice.
Greenhalgh has been swimming with the Orcas for six years.
“When I was really little, my grandma decided to put me in swimming lessons, and I did all my lessons so then she decided to put me in swim club,” she said. “I like swimming because I get to hang out with my friends.”
Humphreys can’t remember when he started swimming, but he swam his first two years in Ladysmith and then moved to Nanaimo. When he moved back to Ladysmith two or three years ago, he joined the Orcas. He likes swimming for the Orcas because he likes making new friends.