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Smyth silver in Okotoks

Josh Aldrich
Booster Sports Editor
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Lloydminster Meridian Booster — If there is ever a time for a young athlete to succeed and do well, they might as well do it at the biggest stage available to them.

For the swimmers of Zone 7 that time was the Alberta Summer Games in Okotoks and High River where they came away with one of their largest medal hauls ever from the pool.

“This was the best we had ever done as far as placements for medals in swimming,” said coach Kierstin Smyth. “I think we are getting better swimmers (in Zone 7), and the more we compete the better were going to get.”

Lloydminster Aquanaut product Jonathan Smyth contributed to the eight medal onslaught with a silver of his own in the boys 15 and over 200-metre freestyle, improving from a bronze medal in the previous games in Camrose in 2002.

“I was kind of expecting a couple of medals, I think we did better than I expected, but we did pretty close to what we thought we were going to do heading in,” said the rookie coach, who had her own games experience to go off of. “It was a little different. I think it was more fun as an athlete, but it definitely gave me a lot more experience and I learned a lot. It will definitely help me out as a coach. But it was a lot of fun and we all had a blast.”

The three local clubs – Aquanauts, Riptides and Rebels – sent a younger team of nine to the event. Aside from Jonathan Smyth, two other local boys, Brayden Wells and Cory Totman, qualified for the finals in a few of the relays.

This performance is something the coaches, which also included Tyler Totman from the Rebels, are going to be building off of for the 2006 Alberta Games.

“This is a good experience, and a lot of them I think we probably will see in a few years at the next one, since there are quite a few younger ones,” said Smyth. “For the older ones it just gave them a taste of what they will see at regionals and provincials coming up. For some of them it was good to see how they even stood up against some of the winter club swimmers.”

There are three major competitions left in the season for the Aquanauts, all three of them involve trips back to Edmonton. This weekend they make the trip for a club meet, but the following two weekends is when it really gets interesting with regionals and then provincials.

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