Kiera Hansen relay takeover from Olivia Howse (Image courtesy of Angie Abdou)

Kiera Hansen relay takeover from Olivia Howse (Image courtesy of Angie Abdou)

Stellar season opener for Elk Valley Dolphins

Contributed by Angie Abdou

Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club

The Elk Valley Dolphin Swim Club (EVDSC) has 150 athletes registered for the 2022-23 season, the biggest the club has ever been by nearly 40 swimmers. According to Coach Aidan Chudleigh, this year’s swimmers range from ages 6 to 70, and from athletes working hard to swim a length of the pool to athletes setting their sights on good results at the national level. “We’re really excited about the growth of the club, the potential of our athletes, and the strength of our coaching team,” said Coach Chudleigh.

This past weekend, the Elk Valley Dolphins put their early-season optimism to the test at a competition in Whitefish, Montana. “We had 17 swimmers compete,” said Chudleigh. “In the past, that would’ve been a huge turn out for us. Now it’s just normal.”

Because Americans swim in 25-yard pools, the Elk Valley Swimmers couldn’t easily compare their times to previous performances. “It was perfect,” said Chudleigh. “We could focus on execution and feel instead of getting too caught up in final performance. That’s a great way to start the season. I was happy with how everyone swam, and I see the whole meet as a promising start to the season.”

The team’s top performer was Layla Rella with 174 points, placing first in the 10 & under 100 IM, 50 breast, 100 free, 50 back, 200 free, 50 fly, and 50 free. Olivia Howse ranked second amongst the Dolphins with 164 points, placing first in the 17 & over age group 500 free, 100 free, 200 back, and 200 free. Kiera Hansen was the next highest scoring Dolphin with 159 points, winning the 17 & over women’s 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 fly.

Other first-place finishes include Josie Howse in the 100 and 200 free and Katherine Hafke in the 200 breaststroke.

The Dolphins also enjoyed some team-bonding time with a Saturday night in-house bowling competition and a Sunday afternoon pumpkin-pass relay as the meet’s grand finale.

The EVDSC’s next competition will be the Canmore Pentathlon on October 22 and 23, followed by the Evolution Halloween Howler, a home meet at the Fernie Aquatic Center on October 29th and 30th. Clubs have signed up from Nelson, Canmore, Calgary, Cranbrook, Radium, and Whitefish, with 200 to 230 swimmers expected to compete.

READ MORE: Fun for Fernie swimmers at BC Games



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Lenaya Veseley to Cadence Prefontaine, pumpkin relay pass (Image courtesy of Angie Abdou)

Lenaya Veseley to Cadence Prefontaine, pumpkin relay pass (Image courtesy of Angie Abdou)