Elk Valley Dolphins athletes Leah Soetaert and Olivia Howse have returned from an exciting weekend at the 2019 Western Canadian Championships, held in Edmonton, Alta, from April 11-14.
Soetaert qualified in the 100m Backstroke and came home with a personal best time. Howse competed in 50, 100, 200, 400 and 1500m Freestyle events over the course of four days.
Attending the competition were swimmers representing 70 different swim clubs from all over Western Canada ages 13 and over.
This served as a large competition for both girls. Being 13, they were among the youngest athletes there, and got a taste of what it was like to swim with the big fish.
“It was really fun, way different than our normal meets. It was a really good experience,” said Soetaert.
“There was a lot more atmosphere, you could say. It was a lot more competitive and there were a lot faster swimmers which made everything more fun.”
Soetaert shaved 0.7 seconds off of her 100m Backstroke, and set a new club record of 1:11:32. She started ranked 46 out of 46 athletes, and moved up six spots to 40th. In order to qualify for the upcoming Manitoba/Saskatchewan provincials, Soetaert must knock another 0.7 seconds off her time.
Howse held most of her current rankings throughout the tournament, but managed to improve in her 200m Freestylem, climbing from 40th to 36th position.
The girls will now prepare with the other members of their team for the ManSask Long Course Championships held July 4-8 at the Winnipeg Pan Am Pool. In addition to training the young athletes will be fundraising in the community with their teammates to help pay for the big trip.
The Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club will continue to train all through spring with sessions available for all age groups. Contact email@example.com to register for Spring Session.