Bar­racu­das per­form well in home pool

The Southwest Booster - - BOOSTER SPORTS - STEVEN MAH SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

It was a ban­ner weekend for the Swift Cur­rent Bar­racu­das Swim Club when they hosted the Long Course Provin­cial & Ju­nior Cup Provin­cials in Swift Cur­rent.

The club hosted over 130 swim­mers from 10 dif­fer­ent swim clubs and posted some im­pres­sive re­sults in the pool against the prov­ince’s top swim­mers. Bar­racu­das swim­mers to­taled 43 medals, in­clud­ing 18 gold medals, 12 sil­vers, and 13 bronze medals. They fin­ished third in the com­bined team standings with 447 points and were named the Top Small Club, an award for teams with less than 15 swim­mers par­tic­i­pat­ing. Among the high­lights for the Bar­racu­das were a pair of gold medals in the re­lays. The team of Faith Biem, Jenna McDon­ald, Me­gan Hodg­son, and Ju­liana Whalen won gold in the Girls 15 & Over 400 Me­tre Freestyle Re­lay in 5:03.05.

The team of Vaughn Golden, Adam Bugera, Blake White, and Quinn Mit­tel­holtz also won gold in the Boys 16 & Over 400 Me­tre Freestyle Re­lay in 4:55.61.

“We ab­so­lutely did very well,” said first-year coach Gary Cheung. “We had 12 Bar­racu­das swim­mers swim­ming in this cham­pi­onship. All of them made fi­nals in their re­spec­tive events. Each of the events that they made the fi­nals in they scored points ... The com­bined team score to­gether they were awarded the Top Small Club Award.”

It was the first time the club has won the Top Small Club Award. “It is a huge ac­com­plish­ment for sure,” noted Cheung. The rookie coach said it took a lot of work to get to this point. “We had to fo­cus on tech­niques. I had to build the foun­da­tion. Each and ev­ery swim­mer they swim dif­fer­ently so I had to find a way where I can work around their stroke tech­niques and then build their en­durance, speed, and those kind of things.”

He said the team had not set out to win the Top Small Club Award head­ing into the meet.

“There was noth­ing spe­cific other than I told them for some of these swim­mers this will be the last meet of the sea­son. I just told them ‘you just swim your best out there and most im­por­tantly have fun. This is our home pool, there shouldn’t be any ex­cuse for us not to step up and per­form.’”

The sea­son is now over for most of the Bar­racu­das, ex­cept for Kyle Kis­sick and Ju­liana Whalen, who will be rep­re­sent­ing the Bar­racu­das at a meet in Moose Jaw in two weeks. Kis­sick will also be head­ing to BC for the AAA Long Course Cham­pi­onships this sea­son.

This weekend was the sec­ond ma­jor meet the Bar­racu­das hosted this sea­son, fol­low­ing their home meet in early April.

“Dur­ing that time there is no prob­lem get­ting vol­un­teers be­cause the whole club is still swim­ming. Af­ter that the Learn to Swim pro­gram ended right af­ter that swim meet, so our vol­un­teer force was only swim­mers com­ing from my group, I have like 16 swim­mers in my group... that is 32 par­ents able to help out,” ex­plained Cheung. “We were re­ally strug­gling get­ting vol­un­teers.

“How­ever, be­cause this is a cham­pi­onship meet and all teams are in­volved, so we reached out to other clubs and all the clubs are able to do their part and sup­port us by get­ting us vol­un­teers, people to step on deck or they’re work­ing as timers, stroke judges, and con­ces­sions. It was a huge ef­fort.”

Cheung also said the club was very ap­pre­cia­tive of the City of Swift Cur­rent and the Aquatic Cen­tre for the use of the fa­cil­ity to host Provin­cials.

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