Kiera Hansen, with a 3rd place finish in 200 breast. (Image courtesy of Randi Goertzen)

Kiera Hansen, with a 3rd place finish in 200 breast. (Image courtesy of Randi Goertzen)

Dolphin swim club numbers growing

Contributed by Angie Abdou

Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club

The Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club is growing. This spring, they had a record number of 66 swimmers compete in their annual home meet. This June, they will break their record for out-of-town competitors at a single meet. Already, 46 athletes have signed up to race for the Dolphins at the season’s first outdoor meet in Radium.

“We’re excited to see this growth in the club,” said head coach Aidan Chudleigh. “We’re currently sitting at about 100 swimmers which is a great number for us.”

During the first weekend of May, 16 of those swimmers traveled to Lethbridge to compete in a three-day meet.

The “Coulee Kids” spring meet was held in a long course pool, which is 50 meters, twice as long as the pool at Fernie Aquatic Centre where the Elk Valley Dolphins train. The long course format requires excellent conditioning, and Fernie coaches were happy to see their athletes rise to the challenge. “Our swimmers demonstrated great fitness,” said the coach. “They’re exactly where we want them to be at this point in the season as we head into the final two or three competitions. We’re all excited to finish on an energetic note with great performances in our final fun meet in Montana or, for the more senior swimmers, at provincial championships in Saskatoon.”

In Lethbridge, many of the Dolphins placed in the top eight. Olivia Howse led the way with first place finishes in 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, 50 back, 100 back, 200 back, as well as a second-place finish in 50 free and third place in 50 breast.

Other finalists include: Maddox Johnson (1st in the 50 free, 2nd in 100 free, 400 free, 50 breast, 100 breast, 50 back, 100 fly, and 200 IM), Josie Howse (2nd in 200 IM, 3rd in 200 free, 50 and 100 breast, 4th in 50 fly, and 8th in 50 back), Kiera Hansen (3rd in 200 breast and 400 free, 4th in 50 back and 200 free, 5th in 50 breast, and 6th in 100 fly), Lily Barden (2nd in 50 and 200 breast, 3rd in 200 IM, 4th in 50 fly and 100 breast, 8th in 50 free), Adam Hayden (2nd in 100 free, 3rd in 50 free, 50 back, 50 and 100 breast, and 5th in the 200 free), Jackson Radkie (2nd in the 50 breast and 50 fly, 3rd in 200 IM, 5th in 50 free and 100 breast, 6th in 200 free, and 7th in 50 back and 100 free), Leah Soetaert (1st in 50 back, 3rd in 50 fly, 7th in 100 free and 200 IM, and 8th in 50 free and 100 breast), Ben Schmidt (2nd in 50 fly, 3rd in 200 free, 5th in 100 breast and 50 back, 6th in 50 breast and 50 free), Grace Hayden (5th in 200 breast, 6th in 50 breast, 7th in 100 back, 8th in 50 back), Maddy Engfield (5th in 50 breast, 7th in 50 fly, 8th in 100 breast), Cadence Prefontaine (6th in 50 fly and 50 free, 7th in 50 breast, 8th in 100 fr), Ava Pollock (5th in 200 IM, 7th in 50 back and 50 fly), Abbi Wannamaker (5th in 100 fly, 6th in 50 fly), and Katherine Hafke (4th in 50 back).

Maddox Johnson qualified for provincials in 50 free. The Dolphins now have 6 qualified swimmers.

The Elk Valley Dolphins placed third overall just behind the Medicine Hat Waves Swim Club who had six more swimmers than the Dolphins.

The Dolphins now look forward to traveling to Radium for a two-day competition on June 4 and 5. Many “Pups,” the club’s youngest swimmers, will be racing in their first out-of-town meet.

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