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Aquanauts dominate regionals

Dan Spark
Booster Sports Writer
Wednesday, 15 August 2001

All Colleen Parker could do was watch.

Nervously standing alongside the Leisure Centre's swimming pool, the head coach of the Lloydminster Aquanauts could do nothing more than watch what the culmination of four months of training would bring her youthful swimmers. And in the end, the deep pool of talent that streams through the organization created a wave of success, unparalleled by any other club at the Region C Regionals this past weekend.

Maybe the measurement of success came from the 64 medals claimed by the Aquanauts, or even the fact that 29 out of 33 swimmers qualified for next weekend's provincial meet in Edmonton. But the likely source came from all the support that flooded the Leisure Centre from parents, volunteers and teammates.

It was all for the kids, and by the final heat, the kids delivered. "We just had a great weekend. It went really well," said Parker. "All the coaches were very happy with the results. "There is a larger number going to provincials than last year."

Out of the 64 medals awarded to Lloydminster swimmers, 17 were gold, 24 silver and 23 bronze. Lloydminster was just too strong when they were put up against other clubs such as the Royal Glenora Gators, Camrose Sea Serpents, Derrick Devil-Rays, Vermilion Snipers, Fort Saskatchewan Piranhas and the Edmonton Huma Huma.

All around it was quite an impressive accomplishment put forth by the Aquanauts, but the event's individual honour had to go to Jessica Kelly. She earned four gold medals and one bronze to go along with the two provincial records she tied on the weekend. From only training four months out of the year, Kelly's accomplishments were enough evidence to show the amount of dedication tied into the club.

And with that foundation supporting most Aquanaut swimmers, Parker is confident provincials will prove to be just as successful as regionals. "I think they'll be competitive," she said. "Every meet we gradually improve." No doubt that seasonal improvement will be tested in Edmonton when the Aquanauts compete against the entire province. But with their accomplishments to date, just being there will be its own reward.

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