For the Free Press
On February 4, Dolphins coach Angie Abdou attended a Masters swim meet in Cochrane, Alberta. In just over two hours, she swam five events: 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, and 100 fly. She won all five events in her 50-54 age group and in three of them she came first overall in the women’s category.
Her times in the 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, and 100 fly rank her first in the nation in her age group so far this year. Her 400 free is just seconds off a BC provincial record. In the 50 free, she ranks second in Canada behind Montreal’s Andrea Seguin.
“Masters swimming is so fun,” Abdou said. “Working out and keeping in shape never feels like a chore with swimming – it’s all a big game, how fast can I go?!”
The Elk Valley Dolphins Masters swim team practices four times per week, Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 to 8:00 in the morning. Swimmers range from 20-year-olds to 70-year-olds, with the same range in ability and experience.
Abdou claims that despite swimming on clubs since she was four years old, she’s had the best coaching right here in Fernie. “Aidan Chudleigh is an excellent coach. He’s teaching me how to train smarter instead of always trying to train longer or harder.”
Abdou came back to competitive swimming two years ago, after a 15-year break to focus on child rearing. The time she achieved in Cochrane were the fastest she’s swum since that comeback. “That feels pretty cool, to be getting faster at my age. Now I’m looking to break five minutes in the 400 free and 30 seconds in the 50 free. Those goals are so motivating.”
The Masters National Championships will be in Calgary this May, and the Elk Valley Dolphins are excited to send a team.
In other exciting Dolphins’ news, multisport athlete Maddox Johnson won gold BC Alpine Provincials in the U16 category. Swimming is a great cross-training activity, and Dolphins are always happy to celebrate the successes of their multisport athletes. Maddox will be leaving on February 24 to represent Fernie on the BC ski team at the Canada Games.
The Dolphins next meet is Montana State Championships in Hardin on the weekend of February 18. The next Masters’ meet is Alberta provincials in Edmonton on the weekend of March 25th.