The Comox Valley Aquatic Club Sharks have been travelling near and far this month for some impressive, fast swimming.
It started Dec. 3 with a Masters meet in Nanaimo. Sharks Glen Christianson, Arlene Hooper, Anne Goodfellow, Lo Lanning, and Michael Didham combined forces with CRD Swimfit’s Dave Hay and Barry Graham representing the Comox Valley for a huge blue ribbon haul. Topping off the competition was Lanning’s win in the “waterslide” race – continuing the Sharks winning ways from last year. “Congratulations to all who made the trip and we look forward to seeing everyone at our Masters meet in April, 2012,” said Sharks’ head coach Albert Burgund.
The next day the other end of the club – 31 novice competitive swimmers – travelled to Campbell River for the Winter Classic Swim Meet. “It was a fast meet. The swimmers really showed what they had learned,” said Burgund. “I was impressed by the work that the coaches had done to prepare these swimmers for this meet. Tons of best times and everyone seemed to enjoy the experience.”
“It is really great to see the two clubs (Killers Whales and the Sharks) supporting one another at the developmental level. It is just what our two teams need,” commented Kat Skuse, president of the Killer Whales.
The last meet of 2011 was held in Victoria where the host Pacific Coast Swimming put on the spectacular Xmas Cracker Invitational – the largest invitational meet in Western Canada where 620 swimmers from Alberta, the Yukon, and B.C. battled it out for spots in the finals.
The Sharks did well with a contingent of 15 swimmers. Leading the pack was Ben Neufeld with two gold and three silver. Adding to the medal haul was Jordyn Ryan (two bronze) and Ethan Ashley (one bronze).
“This was a very tough competition. In some finals six out of eight lanes were occupied by Alberta swimmers,” Burgund noted. “The Alberta teams were quite strong and clearly demonstrated their prowess in every age group. When speaking with the coaches it seems that they are training more and travelling farther this pre-Olympic season.
“It really forces our swimmers to step up to the plate, take note of what others are doing, and commit to doing better,” said Burgund. “That’s not to say that the Sharks are not doing very well. In fact, many new qualifying times were set and they posted 85 personal best times.”
Of note were some double digit drops by Nyomi Guay, Ethan Ashley, Juliana Bartemucci, Kyle Brush, Natasha D’Aoust, Amelia Elder, Jordyn Ryan, and an impressive 35.27-second drop in the 800 freestyle by Gabrielle Wolfe. “Not bad for a weekend’s work!” Burgund said.
The Sharks wish all their supporters and the people of the
Comox Valley a happy and safe holiday season.
– Comox Valley Aquatic Club Sharks