Elk Valley Dolphins medalists from the 2021 Virtual Wavemaker - Layla Rella (8), Noah Dodds (8), and Leah Soetaert (15). (Contributed by Angie Abdou)

Elk Valley Dolphins medalists from the 2021 Virtual Wavemaker - Layla Rella (8), Noah Dodds (8), and Leah Soetaert (15). (Contributed by Angie Abdou)

Six Dolphins earn medals at the Virtual Wavemaker

Contributed by Angie Abdou

Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club

The results are in! After delaying tabulation for a few weeks to account for Alberta swim clubs losing access to their pools, the Pacific Coastal Swim Club has calculated final standings of the nearly seven-hundred swimmers who participated in their virtual meet.

Teams competed from Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Sweden – for a total of approximately 4300 times entered.

Two Dolphins excelled in the 8 and Under category. Layla Rella (8) earned a bronze medal in the 50 metre free and a silver medal in the 50 meter back. Noah Dodds (8) earned a bronze medal in the 50 metre free and a gold in the 50 metre back.

Upon hearing of her medal finishes, Layla Rella responded with such self assurance that it seemed the possibility of not winning a medal had never occurred to the young swimmer.

Learning of his gold medal, Noah Dodds instantly replied, “What colour of medal did Layla get?”

Holly Soetaert also earned a bronze medal in the 17 and Over 100 fly. Tatum Kipnik won bronze in the 17 and Over 100 back. Brock Tomlinson placed third in the 17 and Over 100 IM.

Coaches were pleased to see strong performances from these senior swimmers in what will be their final competition as Dolphins, before they head off to university in the fall.

Leah Soetaert, always a strong performer for the Dolphins, won gold in the 15 and 16 year old girls 100 Individual Medley.

Dolphins earned two more bronze medals in the relays: 15 and Over 4 X 50 free (Leah Soetaert, Avery Sikkes, Kiera Hansen, and Carly Beck) and 15 and Over 4 X 50 medley relay (Leah Soetaert, Kiera Hansen, Ashley Demmings, and Avery Sikkes). The Dolphins mostly focused on individual events, so it was great to see these two relays finish strong. Coaches enjoyed watching the girls compete together with great enthusiasm, energy, and team spirit.

The Dolphins also earned many top 8 finishes. Leah Soetaert (15) placed 4th in the 50 back, 5th in the 100 fly, 6th in the 50 free, 7th in the 50 fly, and 8th in the 200 IM. Ethan Sauvé (11) placed 4th in the 100 breast, 5th in the 100 IM, and 8th in the 50 fly and 200 free. Jarren Beck (12) placed 4th in the 100 IM and 7th in the 100 back. Layla Rella (8) added to her medal finishes with a 5th place in the 100 free. Brock Tomlinson placed 5th in the 100 free and 200 free, 7th in the 50 and 100 fly, and 8th in the 50 back. Brody Dubé (9) placed 5th in the 100 back and 8th in the 50 free. Tatum Kipnik (18) placed 5th in the 100 breast. Mathew Cassidy (9) placed 5th in the 100 IM, 7th in the 50 free, and 8th in the 50 breast. Isla Sauvé (8) placed 6th in the 50 free, 7th in the 100 free, and 8th in the 100 back. Emilie Harrup (8) placed 6th in the 50 back and 8th in the 50 free. Carly Beck (14) placed 6th in the 50 breast. Holly Soetaert added to her 100 fly medal to place 6th in the 50 fly. Josie Howse (10) placed 6th in the 100 IM. Grace Hayden (15) earned 7th in her 100 IM and Kailey Edwards made her way into the group of finalists with an 8th place finish in the 13-14 year old girls 100 IM.

The Dolphins had 50 swimmers compete in the virtual meet.

The team had hoped to attend an outdoor dual meet by the end of the season. With projected decreasing Covid-19 restrictions, that seemed like a possibility. However, the Columbia Valley swim team that practices at the outdoor pool in Radium ends its season this week, meaning that even if regulations do allow outdoor competitions with limited spectators by June 15th, there will be no team left to compete against. Instead, the Dolphins plan one more in-house race series the third week of June before hanging up their goggles for the summer. They’ll be back in the fall: ready to compete!

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