PHOTO LINK - THANKS DEREK CHOMIAK!
The Lethbridge Orcas opened up the 2018 season with team victory in Brooks. Not only did the win mark the first win of the season, but it counted as the 20th consecutive victory for the Orcas at in-region competitions. A relatively large group (for the far location) of 51 Orcas out-competed the competition to capture 946 points, nearly 200 points more than the runner-up Brooks Barracudas.
Over the course of the weekend, Orcas swimmers swam 116 individual best times. Leading the charge in best time hunting, the following swimmers achieved best times in 100% of their individual events: Elyse Burgess, Nicole Burgess, Samantha Clamp, Riley Ginther, Avani Grover, Kate Machacek, Aki Oshima, Lily Petry, Rowenne Shannon, Devlan Sheppard, Bentley Togo, Alexa Weighill, and Makinley Wentz.
In addition to these amazing performances, swimmers contributing the most to our points by winning aggregate medals in their age categories were:
Devlan Sheppard (left) smashed 4 best times and won gold in the boys 13-14 division. Lily Petry and Kiera Petrone (right) have fun in marshaling before great meets. Lily won bronze in the girls 11-12 division with 100% best times and Kiera was 1 event off of getting 100% best times
The Brooks meet was also the first of three meets that Region F swimmers could attempt to qualify for Swim Alberta Winter Club Provincials. Swim Alberta sets their “Championship Time Standard” as a standard that a majority of year-round swimmers find hard to make. Summer swimmers who attain the standard before June 17th are eligible to compete at this Championship meet. This is a very challenging task as swimmers have only been given 6 weeks to train for it. If Orcas swimmers could qualify in August, the Orcas could send nearly a double digit amount of swimmers to this event. But swimming that fast this early is a great testament to an individual’s athletic ability.
In Brooks, Jens Watt was able to reach a time standard, beating the 50 breaststroke standard by nearly half-a-second. Jens has been the Orcas most consistent qualifier, as he always seems to be able to qualify at the first meet every year. A couple other Orcas swimmers were within a second of qualifying. They will be looking to shave some time at the Claresholm Invitational on June 9th.
Petra Tymko (left) had a great first meet as an Orca winning gold in the girls 9-10 division and is currently ranked top 5 provincially in all 4 individual events she swam this weekend. Kira Armstrong, Charlotte Vanden Elzen, and Morgan Bos (right) relax in marshalling before racing each other in the 50 Fr. Although they raced each other here, the also joined forces in a couple relays that are currently ranked 1st in the province
At this early point in the season, the Orcas have also positioned themselves very strongly in the Alberta Summer Swimming Association (ASSA). Their age-group team is currently ranked 4th in the Province while the Masters’ team is currently ranked 2nd. The Orcas currently are ranked top 3 in 41 events. Of those 41, the following events are events in which an Orca is currently ranked 1st in the province: