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Aquanauts Speeding up for the Border Battle

By Sean Rooney
Booster Sports Editor
Wednesday, June 19, 2002

It's amazing what a bit of extra practice can do.

For the Lloydminster Aquanauts summer swim club, which started training some six weeks ago, that time in the pool translated into massive jumps at their meet this past weekend at the Leisure Centre.

"We had a lot of best times out of the events," said Aquanauts coach Colleen Parker. "We took times at trials in their second week so the kids can get used to racing again, and the times we've taken off since then are incredible. Sixteen seconds, 21 seconds, five seconds, that's massive amounts of time you're talking about."

And they don't plan on slowing down their pace of getting faster. Seventeen-year-old Robyn Hnatuk, who's preparing for both the Canada Summer Games and provincials competitions this August, competed in only her second meet of the year this past weekend, but her twice-a-day workouts are already paying dividends.

"I took seven seconds off at Vermilion from my time trials time, and I took seven seconds off here from my Vermilion time," she said. "My Vermilion time wasn't that good. I can go a whole lot faster than that."

How much faster?

"With my starts and my turns I can definitely take three or four seconds off," she said."

The focus right now, however, is the first ever Battle of the Border, to be held June 29 and 30 at Bud Miller Park. With as many as 800 swimmers on hand, the local club took a solid step to asserting itself at the home meet by capturing 12 spots on the Alberta region roster that includes clubs from Camrose, Fort Saskatchewan, Vermilion, Edmonton, Provost, Sherwood Park and Wainwright.

"We're gradually building to regionals and provincials which are in August, so every week I like to see improvements in times," said Parker.

Another prime example would be 11-year-old Cory Chisholm. Though the weekend meet was his first of the year, and therefore wouldn't qualify him for the Battle on the Border, he won bronze medals in the 50 metre backstroke and 50 metre freestyle events.

"I thought I did pretty good," he said. "I've taken quite a bit of time off. Probably eight seconds on each stroke, but I think I can go four or five seconds faster."

This past weekend's meet saw 191 swimmers in the water, 35 of whom were Aquanauts.

MEDAL WINNERS

Girls: Reneee Neufeld (6-under, gold), Brianna Wells (7-8, silver), Jessica Kelly (11-12, silver), Haley Howland (13-14, bronze), Robyn Hnatuk (17-over, silver), Kierstin Smyth (17-over, bronze).

Boys: Luke Muyres (7-8, silver), Brayden Wells (9-10, gold), Mitchel Kelly (11-12, gold), Jonathon Smyth (13-14, silver), Cory Totman (13-14, bronze), Tyler Totman (17-over, gold), Dave Cavanagh (17-over, gold)



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