Three Battlefords Kindsmen Orcas swam at the Edmonton Keyano Open this past weekend, with each of them setting at least one new club record, and two of them swimming races under the Western Canadian Championships (WCC) time standard.
Thirteen-year-old Madison Higgs led the way with four races under the WCC time standard and set four new Orcas club records; 16-year-old Brandon Nord posted three new club records and had one time under the WCC standard; and 16-year-old Taylor Parker posted two new club records.
Orcas head coach Ally MacLeod was pleased with the results, considering how competitive the event was.
"The swimmers have been training very hard and this was an opportunity to see how fast they can go while being tired and they did not disappoint," MacLeod said. "This was a very good demonstration of how their hard work and dedication pays off leading up to more competitive meets."
The meet had clubs not just from Alberta, but two from Saskatoon and two from British Columbia. One of the clubs from B.C., Island Swim Club, has developed Olympians in the past, which MacLeod said was exciting to see.
"It was a treat getting to compete alongside such powerful and talented swimmers," she said. "Rio Olympian Rachel Nicol was at the meet and raced her final competition before heading off to the Commonwealth Games in Australia."
While Nord and Parker had already posted a WCC qualifying time in at least one race, Higgs had not.
"This is [Higgs'] first time qualifying," MacLeod said. "She is also at the youngest age you can be to be eligible to qualify for national events."
The races Higgs' qualified in at the Edmonton meet were in the 50-metre,100-metre, 200-metre and 1,500-metre freestyle. She also recorded new club records in the 50-metre and 100-metre butterfly. All six races were also personal best times.
Nord's WCC qualifying time was in the 200-metre breaststroke, where he placed ninth overall, beat his personal best by over four seconds and set a new club record. He also set club records in the 100-metre breaststroke and 200-metre butterfly.
Heading into the event, Nord already had two races that he swam under the standards, which he got at Canada Games in Winnipeg last summer.
Parker, who set his club records in the 100-metre and 1,500-metre freestle, has already qualified for the WCC in the 50-metre freestyle, after qualifying in that race at a competition in Saskatoon in February.
All three swimmers are hoping to swim under more time qualifying times at upcoming meets, with the next big one March 23-25 at the Prairie Championships in Regina.
The club also has four athletes that will swim in the Junior "A" provincials in Moose Jaw this upcoming weekend.
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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