Two club records fell, and many swimmers earned personal best times, as the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas had a strong showing at the 2014 Fall Invitational Meet Oct. 25-26 in Nanaimo.
Fourteen-year-old Hubert Wong broke the club record in the 50m breaststroke, shaving 1.83 seconds off his previous best time to earn a personal best and a second-place finish in the Male 13-14 age category with a time of 38.54.
At the meet, Wong also finished second in the 100m breaststroke and earned three new personal best times.
Thirteen-year-old Faith Knelson broke a club record in the 200m freestyle, finishing first in Female 13-14 with a time of 2:12.76, knocking 4.30 seconds off her best time.
Seven-year-old Aiden Jeffries was the youngest swimmer at the meet, racing against boys up to three years older than him in the Male 10 & Under category. He earned personal best times in the 50m backstroke, 100m breaststroke and the 50m freestyle.
Nine-year-old Grace Dice earned new personal bests in three of her events and took an amazing 26.33 seconds off her time in the 100m backstroke.
Twelve-year-old Chantal Greenhalgh improved in all her events, earning six new personal best times and finishing fifth in the 50m breaststroke.
Fifteen-year-old Cecilia Johnson had a strong meet, earning a fifth-place finish in the 50m breaststroke with a new personal best time. She earned two more top 10 finishes — eighth in the 100m breaststroke and 10th in the 50m butterfly.
Twelve-year-old Louise Wong earned new personal bests in all six of her events. Her time in the 100m freestyle was 15.19 seconds faster than her previous personal best, while she shaved 12.19 seconds off her previous personal best in the 50m butterfly.
Nine-year-old Joshua Herle had a strong swim in 50m freestyle.
Twelve-year-old Noah Herle had new personal bests in every race but one. He shaved 10.93 off his time in the 50m butterfly to finish first, and he earned four more top-ten finishes — fourth in 100m breaststroke, seventh in 100m freestyle and eighth in both 50m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
Thirteen-year-old Aileen Humphreys improved her times in all eight of her races. She took 16.83 seconds off her time in the 400m freestyle and finished second in the 50m butterfly and third in the 50m backstroke.
Sixteen-year-old Morgan Humphreys earned new personal bests in six of his eight races and earned six top-ten finishes, including a fourth in the 100m breaststroke.
Orcas coach Dusan Toth-Szabo was impressed with the team’s performance.
“Overall, this year as a team, we were able to practise at a higher level, and it really showed at the swim meet,” he said. “They did a lot of best times, and sometimes if it wasn’t a best time, it was right on and very technical.”
Toth-Szabo was impressed by Hubert Wong’s swimming.
“He started at the end of last year to become better and better and better,” he said. “It was great to see his first club record.”
Wong says he felt like he had a good swim in the 50m breaststroke, but he didn’t actually know he’d set a new club record.
Wong, who considers breaststroke his strongest stroke, has been competing for the Orcas since he was nine. His mother said he had to play sports, and he chose swimming.
“I liked it,” he said. “I actually took a break from competing last year, and I came back this year, and it feels good.”
For this year, Wong’s goals are to get a AA time in the 200m and 100m breaststroke.
Jeffries likes to compete, and he feels good after Fall Invitational.
“It was really fun, and it’s really fun to race and to beat your old times,” he said.
Dice, who has been swimming for two years, says she gets nervous before a meet sometimes, but she thinks competing is lots of fun.
She also really likes being part of a team.
“I thought it was good because you can work with other people,” she said.
Looking ahead, Jeffries says his goals are to get good times at upcoming meets.
Dice has also set goals for this season.
“My goal is to get better at flip turns and to go into the third lane,” she said, explaining that getting into the third lane means swimming with the big kids.
Coach Aria MacColl says Jeffries and Dice have really improved their technique, especially their starts and turns, and Jeffries’ breaststroke technique has really come together in recent weeks.
“They’re both really motivated, self-driven kids,” she said. “Out of all the swimmers, Aiden and Grace want it the most, and they’re definitely not lazy at all, in any way, shape or form.”