Barracudas perform well in home pool
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.