Comox Valley swimmer Abby McDowell had a pair of podium finishes at the B.C. High School championships last month in Richmond.
The 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Vanier Secondary finished third in the 50-metre and 100m freestyle events. At last year’s championships, she placed seventh in the 50 and eighth in the 100.
McDowell, a member of the Comox Valley Blue Devils summer swim club, qualified for the two freestyle events and the butterfly, at the zone meet in October in Nanaimo.
”I have been working hard to improve my times and technique,” she said. “Summer training is more structured as there are set training times, mornings and afternoons five days a week.”
Maintaining her ‘swim fitness’ can be a challenge during the off-season as she balances a full academic load at school with a job at the Aquatic Centre, and playing volleyball and rugby.
Still, she manages to swim and train in the gym several times a week.
McDowell trains without a coach during the off-season.
“It can be a challenge to keep focused. My mom, who is not a swimmer, has started training with me to help keep me motivated.”
Her goals for next year are to stay on the podium and increase her standings.
“The goal is always gold,” McDowell said.
Several swimmers from Isfeld Secondary also qualified for the B.C. championships. They include Janaya Ryan, Graham Tattrie, Laine Perry, Grace Revenberg, Jordan Raume, Nadia Macluskie and Shayna Jewitt. Ryan finished sixth in the 50m freestyle and eighth in the 100m free. Isfeld’s 200m mixed medley team finished fourth.