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Sibling swimmers surprise

Sean Rooney
Booster Sports Editor
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Sibling rivalry is something the Lloydminster Aquanauts are all-too-familiar with.

This past weekend, the club concluded their season with eight swimmers winning 11 medals at the provincial finals in Calgary. For a few of the swimmers, the real competition happened on the ride home. "In practice we push each other," said 12-year-old Mitchell Kelly of his sister, 11-year-old Jessica. "I beat her in two of my events, my 100 and 50 metre freestyle, last weekend at regionals.

"She came back this week and had a really good weekend, she lowered her times really well."

Jessica also won another four medals, two gold and two silver, as she was expected to do.

But nobody expected her older brother to pick up a medal for himself. "Out of the four years that I've swam, I've been to it (provincials) three years and that's the first time I've ever got a medal," said Mitchell, ecstatic over his third-place finish in the 11 and 12-year-old boys 200 metre freestyle race this past Sunday. "I beat my old time by three seconds. I almost had silver, we were going to the wall at the same time and he just touched before me."

"He's never had faster times than I have, and he had faster times in regionals," said Jessica. "But this weekend I had faster times." The debate as to who's faster in the family will rage on forever, but Jessica has clearly been the most decorated thus far. With her closest competitor moving out of her age group next year, she just may need a new trophy case.

"I'll have higher expectations next year," she said.

The Kellys weren't the only siblings making waves in Calgary, either. Tyler Totman was fourth in his best event - the 100 metre backstroke - but his 200 metre free relay team won silver later in the weekend. "The highlight was the relay silver," said the 17-year-old Totman, whose brother Cory finished seventh in the boys open 1,500 metre freestyle swim. "We wanted to beat (Edmonton club) Huma - they got gold. We came out of the region about a second behind them."

The 17-and-over relay team featured one of the oldest competitors at the meet, as well. Forty-three-year-old Dave Saunders has been competing as an Aquanaut for 35 years, even though he now lives in Hinton.

The other swimmers on the silver medal team were Jonathan Smyth and David Cavanagh. Other medal winners were Robyn Hnatuk, who took bronze in the 15-and-over girls 100 metre butterfly, and Amanda Lux, who won bronze in the 9-10-year-old girls 100 metre freestyle race.

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