Swimmers from the Comox Valley Aquatic Club Sharks paired up with swimmers from the Campbell River Killer Whales to compete as the North Island Predators at te Canadian Age Group National Swimming Championships, held July 25-30 in Calgary.
Representing the Comox Valley Sharks were Juliana Bartemucci, Drew Kuhnert, Brooke Lamoureux, Ben Neufeld and Jordyn Ryan.
The Age Group Championships represent the second highest level of competition next to the Senior National Championships. It affords athletes the opportunity to pit themselves against the best of their peers on a national scale. Most swimmers first time out is just to get the experience and see what’s out there. However, sometimes we see neophytes make it to the final. This year that happened to Ben Neufeld who managed finals in both the 100 (8th) and 200 (7th) backstrokes. Ben was off to London to watch the Olympics live and was unavailable for comment.
Last year Brooke was just shut out of finals – making the alternate position a few times. This year she made it to the finals in the 1500 freestyle (6th) and the 800 freestyle (6th).
“For my second nationals, I worked very hard for my two sixth place finishes in 800 and 1500. I wished I could’ve gone into nationals better prepared but felt attending and gaining the experiences in the long run would outweigh my potential results. My shoulder felt good throughout the meet.
“I was very disappointed when I developed a bad cough and upper chest congestion on Saturday. It made me scratch for the first time ever. I was sad that I let down my teammates in the relay on Sunday night and that I wouldn’t get a chance to swim the 2.5 km open water which I was really looking forward to.
“I am thankful for coach Dave’s positive motivation which made me feel better about my results. It was great spending time with CR’s swimmers. I am inspired to be the best I can be, and to work hard like I did last year. Watching the Olympics now and the results that Team Canada has achieved is inspiring. I’d like to be a part of that,” Brooke wrote about her experience.
Drew made some best times in the 50 free, 50 breast, and 100 breast. He improved on his placing from last year. Drew took some time to meet the coach from Queens University where he will be studying in September. We wish this Sharks graduate all the best at university and in his varsity career too!
Juliana performed well, bettering her times in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. In her best event – the breaststroke – she improved her rankings and we expect great things from her in the future. Her mother relayed, “Juliana’s first experience at Nationals has been nothing but positive. She was excited to be swimming with Canada’s best. To see so many dedicated hardworking swimmers, she has already set new goals for her next swim season and is looking forward to Nationals in Montreal next year. Juliana is proud to have earned two personal best times at Age Group Nationals.”
Jordyn enjoyed her first trip to Age Group Nationals. Despite missing several weeks of training due to a strained rotator cuff, she was able to make a personal best time in her breaststroke race. “It was a good experience – competing outside of British Columbia at a national level gave me new goals and I can’t wait to start getting ready to compete in Montreal for the 2013 Age Group Nationals! Next year I want to focus more on my swimming training instead of other sports and be in top shape without any injuries when I go to Age Group Nationals.”
The Sharks will take a well deserved break before resuming training in September. Thanks to everyone who helped us come this far. For more information on the Sharks, visit www.sharks.bc.ca or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Comox Valley Aquatic Club Sharks