Seven Comox Valley Aquatic Club Sharks travelled to Toronto to compete at the 2015 Canadian Trials and train with the Markham Aquatic Club and Brantford Aquatic Club.
Upon landing in Toronto, the training camp group of Gabrielle Wolfe, Jared Theriault, Cole Young, Emma Neufeld and Trials competitors Ben Neufeld, Jordyn Ryan and Brooke Lamoureux joined Canadian Swimming Olympic family, Heather and Brittany MacLean and their supportive parents Michele and Dan for dinner before checking into their accommodations.
The following day started early as Sharks’ head coach Kris Bell and the training camp group was on deck at 5:15 a.m. with the host Markham Aquatic Club. The small group of Sharks continued to train with Markham club, travelling between six beautiful facilities highlighted by their brand new Markham Pan Am Sports Centre.
Lamoureux, Ryan and Neufeld each earned times fast enough to qualify for the highest competition in Canadian swimming. The dedicated three entered the newly opened Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, host of the 2015 Canadian Swimming Trials, for pre-meet training. Lamoureux, the veteran of the group, was entering her fourth Trials competition while Ryan and Neufeld prepared to compete at their first.
“Brooke was able to lead her team on the first day to a personal best time by over 10 seconds, posting a club record and an eighth place finish in the 1500m freestyle,” said coach Bell. “This was the first-ever top-eight finish in Sharks’ history. She followed it up with a 13th place finish in the 800 free,” Bell said.
First-time qualifier Ryan dropped three seconds from her best time in the 200 butterfly during the preliminary session to qualify in the top 20, securing a lane to compete in the B final. “As Jordyn marched out with her competitors, her confidence and strong work ethic allowed her to have the third fastest last 50 metres of her field, securing another best time and club record,” Bell added.
As the Canadian trials completed, both Lamoureux and Ryan were selected to the 2015 Western Canada Games Team.
Both the Camp and Competitors then travelled to Brantford to train and stay with members of the Brantford Aquatic Club’s senior squad. The courtesy of the club and its families was a highlight for each member of the Sharks as they created lifelong friends and supporters in each of their clubs’ quest for excellence, Bell said.
The two weeks of training and competing was not just work: the swimmers enjoyed time to themselves as they explored downtown Toronto on several occasions and a day trip to Niagara Falls while competing in a scavenger hunt, ensuring each swimmer experienced everything Ontario’s capital had to offer.
Bell said he is grateful for the generosity and the experience members of the Sharks gained from training with Markham and Brantford Aquatic Clubs and hopes to continue the friendships and training partnerships in the future.
“A special thank you to our valued sponsors, Comox Valley Nissan and Bayview Chiropractic,” Bell said, noting they made the trip possible. If interested in becoming a sponsor or member of the Sharks, or for more information/updates on the Comox Valley Aquatic Club, check out their website sharks.bc.ca and their Twitter feed @ComoxSharks.
– Comox Valley Aquatic Club Sharks