Katherine Hafke working on her back kick and streamline. (Contributed by Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club)

Katherine Hafke working on her back kick and streamline. (Contributed by Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club)

Dolphins enthusiastically accept Swim B.C.’s challenge

Contributed by Angie Abdou

Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club

To counter the malaise threatening to take hold of competitive swimmers after more than a year of no competitions, Swim B.C. has issued a series of virtual challenges.

They plan to release one every two weeks for six weeks, which will take the Elk Valley Dolphins to the end of their spring season.

This week all swimmers in the top two groups tackled the third challenge, with twenty athletes completing 8 X 50 breaststroke on 1:20. The coach will enter times for each 50, and Swim B.C. will rank swimmers by age group according to average 50 time.

Senior swimmer, and breaststroke specialist, Tatum Kipnik led the Dolphins with an average time of 43.63 seconds.

In an impressive showing, sixteen-year-old Kiera Hansen was the second fastest Dolphin with an average time of 46.00.

“I love that the Swim BC Challenges keep me motivated and in shape,” says Hansen. “It’s fun to cheer everyone on, and the challenges bring our team together.”

Carly Beck was the fastest in the 13-14 year old age group with a 48.0. Her brother Jarren Beck came out on top of the 11-12 year old boys with 57.88. The youngest swimmer to complete the challenge was Ethan Sauve.

The Swim BC. sets are keeping swimmers’ competitive spirit sharp, which will come in handy this week as the entire club participates in The WaveMaker, a virtual swim meet hosted by Pacific Coast Swimming.

“I miss going to meets because of the hotels and stuff,” says twelve-year-old Katherine Hafke, “but the challenges and virtual meets are fun – to push ourselves and see if we’re getting faster.”

Senior swimmer Kiera Hansen agrees. “Our team has been working super hard, so I’m excited to race against everyone and have a good time.”

From May 11-15, all of the Elk Valley Dolphin practice sessions will be devoted to the Wavemaker swim meet. Individual events will be broadcast on Facebook Live, giving parents, extended family, and friends a rare chance to see their swimmers in action.

All the club’s athletes – from eight to eighteen – will have an opportunity to put on their game face and test their speed.

The club has only recently re-opened to the youngest swimmers – after decreasing numbers to comply with Covid-19 restrictions – so it will be especially fun to see the little ones in their first competition.

“I’m excited to see my swimmers race their hearts out this week,” says Junior Coach Kiera Hansen. “This meet gives them the opportunity for their hard work to pay off.”

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