Comox Valley Blue Devils with their winnings at the Vancouver Island regional championships. Back row, from left: Henry Holland, Liam Wigger and Oliver Dickman. Front: Callie Blasco, Ilan Condly, Connor McQuillan and Avery Galik-Lemky. Photo supplied

13 of 18 Blue Devil swimmers win medals at Islands

B.C. summer club swimming returned for the Comox Valley Blue Devils after a two-year COVID shutdown, culminating in the Vancouver Island regional championships Aug. 5-7 at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Thirteen of 18 Blue Devil swimmers won medals.

Of particular note were the performances of Avery Galik-Lemky with four individual golds in four races, Ilan Condly with three individual silvers and one bronze, and Callie Blasco with four individual silvers. Piers Parker swam a great 50m freestyle to take bronze and Oliver Dickman improved his individual time in each of his 100m breaststroke races to win silver.

Two club records were broken, one by Abby McDowell in the Div 7 50m freestyle, and another by Callie Blasco in the Div 5 100m free. Georgia Ross showed significant improvement by shaving more than five seconds off her 50m breaststroke, and Elizabeth Ross took three seconds off her 50m free.

Blue Devils coach Sam Helpard said he was “blown away by the effort everyone showed” but was even more impressed by the team spirit.

“As someone who swam and coached, this is some of the greatest team spirit I’ve ever seen. I’m extremely proud of every single race the Devils swam.”

While pleased with the success of the swimmers, club president Cathy Holland was even happier to see a return to summer swimming.

“It is has been a long two years – there were even moments where we weren’t sure if the club would survive,”’ she said. “It certainly speaks to the resilience of these swimmers and their families, and to the hard work and enthusiasm of their coaches Sam and Ava [Webb]. Thank you to both of them and to our executive for making this such a great season.”

The next stop for the medal winners is the Summer Swimming Provincial Championships in Kamloops.

Other medal winners were Oscar Stehura, Piers Parker, Joel Baker and Oliver Teachman with two relay golds each, Connor McQuillan with four individual golds and two relay golds, Blasco with four individual silvers, Liam Wigger with three individual golds, one silver and two relay golds, Logan Wigger with two golds, one silver individual and two 2 relay golds, Henry Holland with a silver individual and two relay golds, and McDowell with a silver individual

Comox ValleySwimming

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