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Aquanauts’ Kelly breaks record … again

Josh Aldrich
Sunday August 29, 2004
Lloydminster Meridian Booster

So much for the tried-and-tested records of days gone by.

In a seven-day span the Aquanauts’ Jessica Kelly has broken the same record twice, not to mention haul in eight regional and provincial gold medals.

It’s also not so much the fact she broke the same record twice in a week’s time, it’s the manner in which she did it in. She smashed her 13 and 14 girls 100-metre butterfly regional mark (1:11.00) by almost two seconds, swimming 1:09.19 at provincials. Both competitions were at the same pool in Edmonton.

“It was pretty cool,” said Kelly. “I expected to do quite well, I didn’t expect to break my record again, by how much I did.”

“She’s very close to all of the (records) in the events that she swims,” said coach Kierstin Smyth. “All of them are within her reach and the one she did break, she broke by two seconds, so it was a really good swim for her.”

In addition to breaking the record again, she also swam to the same four golds that she did at regionals, winning the 100-metre freestyle and back stroke as well as the 50-metre freestyle events.

It’s that final event the E.S. Laird student has here sights set on for next year.

“Next year I want to get the 50-freestyle record,” she said. “That’s the one I really wanted to get last weekend but I didn’t quite get it. I got my best time this year, but I didn’t quite get the record and that made me kind of mad. I’ll be ready to get it next year.”

It has been a solid season for the 13-year-old Kelly who still has one year left at this level, a really encouraging note considering her performances at regionals, provincials and junior nationals in the past month.

“It’s been great, all of the training has paid off,” said Kelly. “I swam for two hours each day. It’s nice to do that and then go to provincials and do well – you know that you’re training for a reason.”

Kelly wasn’t the only Aquanaut who had a great swim. Of the 11 swimmers representing the club in Edmonton they returned with 17 medals.

“It’s a really good find for us,” said Smyth. “Overall it’s close to what we normally do. I know there were a couple of unexpected medals and a lots of personal bests … but overall it was a pretty good year for provincials.”

The remaining individual medal take was this: Brayden Wells won bronze in the 11 and 12 boys 50-metre freestyle; Jonathan Smyth brought back silver medals in the 13 and over boys 400-metre freestyle and the 200-metre freestyle, as well as bronze medals in the 15 and 16 boys 100-metre freestyle and the 100-metre backstroke.

“Brayden went into his race not ranked in the top three and he ended up pulling off a bronze. That was just awesome for him, and he beat his usual competitor, they’re really close all of the time and he took the bronze,” said Smyth.

Jonathan was ranked fourth in the two (events) he went in and he got bronze, so he pulled those up and we weren’t really expecting it.”

When it came to relay teams, the Aquanauts sent one team that collected two golds as Kelly, Haley Howland, Natasha Pidkowa and Keeley Mokelky won both the 15 and 16 girls medley relay and free relay.

The Aquanauts were also major contributors to the medal winning Region C relay teams: Jonathan Smyth and Howland both won one gold, while Kelly and Wells both won two bronze medals and Renee Neufeld one.

This marks the end of a very successful season for the swim club, as they head into the winter months with a lot of momentum to carry over into next spring.

“Since we do have a number of personal bests, it really does give us something to build on,” said Smyth. “We know that we’ve improved this season and we can keep going and work even harder and accomplish the goals we didn’t quite get to this season. It looks pretty good heading into next year.”

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