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Busy Aquanauts earn spots at provincials

Sean Rooney
Booster Sports Editor
Sunday, August 18, 2002

These are busy times if you're a swimmer with the Lloydminster Aquanauts. After competing in their regionals this past weekend in Edmonton, 14 of the water warriors started the Alberta Summer Games competition this past Thursday. If that weren't enough, provincials are coming up this weekend in Calgary.

"Provincials is bigger," said 18-year-old Kierstin Smyth when asked where she has focused her attention. "Summer Games is tougher because there's more competition with the winter clubs. I don't expect to do as well there.

"But Smyth shouldn't sell herself short, either. At the Grant MacEwan Community College pool in Edmonton this past weekend, she won two silver and two gold medals, and finished a close fourth in two other events in her best-ever weekend at a regional competition.

Smyth wasn't the only one to have a good weekend. Of the 221 swimmers at the meet, 26 were Aquanauts. Out of those, all but five qualified for provincials with either silver or gold medals.

"I think it's pretty good, considering the injury," said Smyth of her success.

The injury?"It happened two years ago when I was training for long distance," she said. "It's my shoulder, (but) they still don't know what it is. I can't practice very much because I'm in pain a lot.

"But the pain hasn't stopped her from continuing to make waves. Smyth now focuses on shorter events like the 50 metre freestyle and 100 metre breaststroke, the two individual events that garnered her silver medals in Edmonton.The golds were team medals.

Along with Karen Bjorge, Robyn Hnatuk, Jessica Kelly and Amanda Bowen, the two teams Smyth was on during each of their respective relays.

Though he doesn't have any injuries to contend with, 11-year-old Brayden Wells does have similar challenges, as provincials are his last meet of the year after regionals. He might go to the Alberta Summer Games in 2004, but for now he's just hoping to keep pace with some new competition.

"In a way having been there (provincials) takes the pressure off, but then there's new kids," he said. "There's another kid I went against in an earlier meet, and his times are better than mine by four or five seconds. And he's not in my region, so I don't swim against him much.

"Considering that Wells' 50 metre freestyle time has dropped by four seconds already this summer, it is possible he's closer to the top than he thinks. At regionals, Wells won three golds, in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle and 50 metre breaststroke. He added a bronze in the 25 metre butterfly for good measure.

"The only time I've ever made it in provincials was two years ago and I made it in all my events. I made the top 13 in all of those events," he said. "I'm shooting for the top 12 this year. Every year I want to get lower."

Regional results:
Boys 8-under -
Luke Muyres: 25 m and 50 m freestyle, 25 m butterfly, 100 m IM silver.

Boys 9-10 -
Brock Chisholm: 100 m freestyle and 50 m breaststroke bronze, 25 m butterfly fifth, 50 m freestyle fourth;
Brayden Wells: 50 m and 100 m freestyle, 50 m backstroke gold, 25 m butterfly bronze.

Boys 11-12 -
Kory Chisholm: 50 m butterfly gold, 50 m backstroke sixth, 50 m freestyle fourth, 100 m IM fifth;
Mitchell Kelly: 100 m and 200 m freestyle gold, 50 m backstroke and freestyle silver;
A.J. Mokelky: 100 m freestyle fifth, 200 m freestyle silver, 50 m breaststroke bronze.

Boys 13-14 -
Jonathan Smyth: 100 m freestyle, 200 m IM bronze, 100 m backstroke, 400 m freestyle silver;
Cory Totman, 1,500 m freestyle silver.

Boys 17-over -
David Cavanagh: 100 m butterfly and 100 m breaststroke gold, 50 m butterfly bronze, 50 m freestyle silver;
Dave Saunders: 100 m freestyle fifth, 50 m butterfly sixth, 100 m breaststroke bronze;
Tyler Totman: 100 m freestyle bronze, 50 m butterfly fifth, 100 m backstroke gold, 50 m freestyle fourth.

Girls 8-under -
Brianna Wells: 25 m butterfly fourth, 25 m and 50 m freestyle gold, 100 m IM silver.

Girls 9-10 -
Amanda Lux: 100 m freestyle, 25 m butterfly, 25 m backstroke, 100 m IM gold;
Mary Cavanagh: 50 m breaststroke bronze.

Girls 11-12 -
Jessica Kelly: 100 m and 50 m freestyle, 50 m butterfly and backstroke gold;
Kelly Chisholm: 400 m freestyle bronze;
Keeley Mokelky: 200 m freestyle fifth.

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