Saidee Smith made the finals in the 100-metre butterfly

Young swimmers find successes local meet

The Kristy Hatt Memorial swim meet, for all Fraser Valley summer swimmers, is hosted by the Agassiz Harrison Aquanauts swim team.

Sue LawrenceSpecial to The Observer

The Kristy Hatt Memorial swim meet, a yearly event for all Fraser Valley summer swimmers, is hosted by the local Agassiz Harrison Aquanauts swim team. Kristy Hat is a late AHA swimmer who was a role model and friend to everyone who knew her. This swim meet is held every year in Agassiz in July in her memory. Despite intermittent short torrential downpours, the swim meet was very successful, running efficiently, on time and with a lot of successes for our local swimmers.  Summer club swimming is a short five-month season sport, with swim meets happening in different communities of the Fraser Valley every one to two weeks.

Swimming is a very precise sport with seemingly fussy rules about how to each stroke should be swum, how to start, turn and finish in the exactly correct way. Sometimes the difference between first and last place can be a difference of only a few seconds, or less.

So what is success in swimming? It is not just about coming first place. It is about meeting the challenges of longer distances, being at a swim meet for the first time and having to stand on those starting blocks with so many people watching or finding the strength to keep going when you are out of breath. Here are some examples.

One length of the pool is 25 metres and may not seem very far…unless you are under six years old. Zinzi Schwichtenberg and Indiana McMullin are in the six-and-under category, but actually swam in Division 1 so they had to swim 50 metres instead of the usual 25 metres for their age group.

Zinzi came first in the 50-metre breaststroke, and third in the 50-metre free.

Indiana finished first in 50-metre free.

We have a lot of new swimmers this year which means this swim meet was a first time meet for many Agassiz kids.

Sebastyen Williamson and Ethan Corder made it to finals for the first time. For Ethan it was the 50-metre breaststroke and for Sebastyen it was the 100-metre freestyle which he was very excited to swim for a second time in finals and arrive at the finish in 6th place.

Kassey Williamson was quite nervous about moving up to division 4 because she had to swim 100 metres now instead of 50. She had great success and made it into finals with a fourth place finish in 100-metre breaststroke and fifth place in the 100-metre freestyle.

Butterfly is one of the hardest strokes to learn. It is quite complex, takes a lot of physical energy and strength as well as managing timing of the kick and pull rhythm.

Cedar Waters who’s only four years old swam a whole length of butterfly all by herself.

Harrison Rydell won the six-and-under boys 25-metre butterfly event.

Jacob Wouda had great technique in the same race. Our coaches are excited about these new up and coming butterfly swimmers.

Once you have been swimming for a few years it can seem so hard to go any faster and break your best time barrier.

Justine Stoeckly swam some personal bests for this season in events that she had been adding time on. In particular, she swam a spectacular 100-metre breaststroke coming in fifth spot. She also finished in fifth place after finals in 100-metre and 50-metre butterfly.

When you get on the starting blocks, the starter calls “on your mark” and swimmers have to freeze while they wait the three seconds or so for the start signal.

Any movement during this time leads to a disqualification. In the previous two meets Saidee had been troubled by DQs, due to involuntary muscle flinch just before the start. This meet she overcame it and had a fantastic 100-metre butterfly, making it to finals to finish in sixth place. After a difficult year she also successfully achieved some personal best times.

Randolph McInroy is a determined and positive swimmer. This year he competed with the Chilliwack winter club so he had to swim in a different category than regular summer club swimmers. It was very impressive to watch him swim with next to the much older 18-year-old swimmers, as his younger team mates cheered him on to successfully finish third place.

Finally Daniel Chrenko was named swimmer of the meet for being very engaged and focused throughout the meet. He was carefully listening to his coaches, asking questions and working hard on the technical aspects of his swimming. He swam especially well during the 100-metre freestyle where he finished in fifth place.

Overall the meet was a lot of fun and there was great team spirit. Thank you to all the sponsors who made the meet possible.

Thank you to all the parents who volunteered to time, prepare food, monitor stroke and turn, run the computers and so on. Last but not least thank you to all the coaches who teach, motivate and love all the AHA swimmers.

The next big event is a regional swim meet on the first weekend in August, right here in Agassiz. Please come out to cheer for your local swimmers!

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