The Elk Valley Dolphins got stuck into some recycling, managing to raise $400 for the club with cans. (Contributed by Wendy Howse)

The Elk Valley Dolphins got stuck into some recycling, managing to raise $400 for the club with cans. (Contributed by Wendy Howse)

50 Dolphins Compete in Virtual Wavemaker

Contributed by Angie Abdou

Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club

This week fifty Fernie swimmers, ages 7 to 18, competed in the virtual Wavemaker hosted by Pacific Coast Swimming. All practice sessions were devoted to races with swimmers getting to pick from all the regulation events in four strokes plus the individual medleys. Each Dolphin competed in at least three races, with swimmers who practice more times per week completing as many as twelve events.

676 swimmers registered in the virtual Wavemaker, from clubs throughout Canada and even a club from Sweden. The Dolphins have now submitted swimmers’ times and will await tabulation of results, which have been delayed due to an extension of the submission deadline to account for Alberta teams currently unable to access their pools.

In the Dolphins’ club standings, Layla Rella led the 8 & under category placing first in all three of her regulation events. Josie Howse was the fastest swimmer in the 9 & 10 year old age group placing first in four of her five events, with a special mention to Brody Dubé who placed first in the 100 back. Jarren Beck came out as the speediest swimmer in the 11 & 12 year old category winning all three of his events by a considerable margin. Katherine Hafke excelled amongst the 11 & 12 year old girls placing first in nine events and second to Lily Barden in the 50 breaststroke. Carly Beck led the way in the 13 & 14 year old girls, placing first in all six of her events and braving the grueling 400 IM. In the 13 & 14 year old boy category, special mention to Jackson Radkie who completed his 50 free in an impressive 30.0 seconds. In the 15 & over swimmers, Leah Soetaert and Brock Tomlinson consistently came out as the fastest, putting in some blazing swims as always.

Throughout the week, the Dolphins saw over 80% best times (in over 200 individual swims). The younger swimmers tend to go best times simply by virtue of growing and thereby getting stronger. Admirably, the 15 & over swimmers also did best times, on much less practice time than in a normal year and without the usual adrenaline boost of big competitions. Kiera Hansen did best times in the 50 breast, 50 free, and 200 free. Grace Hayden did a best time in the 100 IM. Holly Soetaert did a best time in the 100 fly. Luka Cigler did best times in both the 50 breast and 50 free, shortly after recovering from a serious shoulder injury and surgery.

After all that hard work and all those best times, those senior swimmers raced straight to the Fernie Brewery warehouse to tackle a recycling job and fundraise $400 for the club.