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Aquanauts improving

Sean Rooney
Booster Sports Editor
Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Young swimmers got a taste of what regionals will be like this past weekend at the Lloyd Leisure Centre.

The Aquanauts summer swim club held its meet, bringing in competitors from across central Alberta. It will also host regionals Aug. 9 and 10.

"It feels like I swim faster in the pool, I know what it's going to be like, so it kind of feels like an advantage," said 12-year-old Larissa Campbell. "I did a lot better at this meet than at Vermilion (a week earlier)."

Campbell won't be able to use home pool advantage come regionals, however. She's heading to P.E.I. for summer vacation, meaning the Lloyd meet was her last of the year.

At least she made it count. Campbell finished with a silver medal in the girls 11 and 12-year-old group, behind provincial record-holder and fellow Aquanaut Jessica Kelly and Fort Saskatchewan's Miranda Dewit.

"I swam four races, got a first and three seconds," she said. "I get a couple more weeks of practice in, which is good."
Winning races isn't necessarily the goal of the swimmers, however. Just ask nine-year-old Carley Hilsendager, who was thrilled even though she didn't end up with a medal.

"I think in butterfly I beat my time by two seconds, and in front crawl I think I beat it by one," she said. "The front crawl for 50 metres I think I beat it by two seconds too."

Keeley Mokelky also had a breakthrough at the local meet. The 13-year-old competed in her first 400 metre freestyle race, one of six events she entered, and figures to be trying more endurance events in the future.

"I got first," she said. "I want to try the 800 metre next time. I'm definitely more of an endurance swimmer."

New coach Jenna Lamb said she saw a lot more personal bests than Hilsendager's. Because the club is only two weeks into its competitive season, many swimmers are setting personal bests every time they race.

"A lot of them had best times," said Lamb. "All of them had at least one top five finish again."

In Vermilion last week, every swimmer had a fifth-place finish or better to their credit. Lamb hopes that success will continue this weekend when the athletes head to Derrick, Alta.

"They've exceeded expectations I had for a lot of them, now they're working on improving themselves even more, so by the time of provincials they'll have their goals shot," she said.

Aquanauts results
Winners were determined based on aggregate placings at the June 14 meet.

Britt Wells " bronze, girls 6-under; Luke Muyres " silver, boys 8-under; Brock Chisholm " bronze, boys 9-10; Jessica Kelly " gold, girls 11-12; Larissa Campbell " silver, girls 11-12; A;J; Mokelky " silver, boys 11-12; Haley Howland " gold, girls 13-14; Cory Totman " silver, boys 13-14; Jonathan Smyth " silver, boys 15-16; Karen Bjorge " gold, girls 17-over; Tyler Totman " gold, boys 17-over.

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