If you were in Agassiz this past weekend you may have wondered what all the whistles, beeps and cheering coming from the pool was all about, especially considering how cold and rainy the weather was.
Well it was worth cheering for the great swim meet hosted by the Agassiz Harrison Aquanauts. This is an annual event to commemorate Agassiz swimmer Kristy Hatt, who swam with AHA for 14 years and inspired many swimmers before she died in a car accident 10 years ago.
We had a remarkable 46 swimmers attend our home swim meet. Many of the younger new swimmers don’t travel to attend other summer meets so this home meet was a good chance to experience competitive swimming. William Fisher, Charlee May Allen, Sabrina and Sahil Grewal, Gregory Hinton, Erik Lingard, Blake Mailhot, Eva, Mati, and Helaman Ochoa, Bowen Hardy and Lili Hardy had their first swim meet this weekend.
For Helaman Ochoa, it was a great start. He swam a 43.46 in 50 free in prelims, qualifying him for finals. In finals he wore his first racing suit and dropped another five seconds, swimming a 38.70 and placing sixth.
For swimmers who have been with the club awhile, competition becomes about improvement, not just getting into finals. The coaches watch for improving best times and eventually swimmers realize that most of the reward comes from that improvement. Sinead Dubiellak took off an amazing 21 seconds in her 50 free and has really improved her swimming form. Bentley McMullin took 25 seconds off his 50 back time. Nicola James narrowly missed breaking under the 50 second mark in 50 back with a 50.59 second time.
Twenty one swimmers made it to finals – almost half the team. This led to many notable swims. Leading the way was our coach Jordan (1st in 50 and 100 fly)! Bentley had three 1st place finishes: 25 free, 25 back and 25 breast. Little Brooklyn came second in 100 IM and 4th in 50 fly. Jaydin Lees made it to finals three times and achieved third place for 50 free and 100 breast. Her sister Taylor swam finals in all her events with a great second place finish in 100 free. Anton Stoeckly swims smooth and fast and was also in finals for all his event winning two second place finishes – 50 free and 100 IM. Hebrina McInroy puts her all into her races which led to a third place 50 free finish. For a first meet Blake Mailhot did well with two second place finishes (25 fly and 25 breast) plus third in 25 free and fourth in 25 back.
Still, despite all these other high place finishes, the swimmer of the meet was Logan Sparkes. In the last race of the weekend (100 free) Logan was able to drop 1.5 seconds to just qualify for finals. In finals, at the end of a long weekend of racing, Logan was able to swim yet another best time and drop an additional 2.5 seconds. He swam a 1:18.89 and pulled himself up into fifth place. Logan really gave all his races everything he had and gave his competitors a run for their money.
Despite the rain and cold, a lot of fun was had by all the swimmers. Wandering by the front of the pool where parent volunteers tried to organize kids according to the next event and heat and so on, there was always lots of laughter and socializing going on between all the different teams but also support for team mates about to swim. Relays are another place that teamwork really shows up as well. On Sunday, in the 200 m freestyle relay there were actually two teams of AHA boys. There was lots of excitement and playful challenging of each other and in the end the two teams came in first and second place.
So the summer season is drawing to a close, at least from a swim meet perspective as regional swim meet in two weeks will be the last swim meet of the summer for most of AHA. The swim club could not function without all the hard work of the parent volunteers and the community support and donations. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to make this years meet a great success.