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Kelly breaks 22-year-old record

Josh Aldrich
Sunday July 24, 2005
Lloydminster Meridian Booster

As Jessica Kelly headed off to nationals in Winnipeg earlier this week, she was able to scratch off a major item on her to-do list – breaking the provincial record in the 13-14 girls 50-metre butterfly.

Last weekend at the Edmonton Huma Huma swim meet, Kelly lowered the 22-year-old record by almost a quarter of a second, dropping the standard from 31.10 to 30.86.

The record had stood for eight years longer than she had been on this planet, and was one she had targeted for the past two years.

Her performance blew away her coach Tyler Totman.

“It was an amazing feat, she’s been going after that record all year long,” said Totman. “There’s nothing more that she wanted than that record and the 50-metre freestyle record she’s still chasing. It was an amazing swim on her part.”

However, more time could be falling off of that mark before the year is out.

“Judging by the first half of her race she could go even faster,” said Totman. “It’s a mental thing and getting pressure (from swimmers). It’s hard to swim real fast if you’re not getting pressure from anyone. She’ll find that at regionals and provincials and it will hopefully push her over the edge again.”

It was a strong performance all the way around for the Aquanauts, as the small contingent brought back five medals – one gold, two silver and two bronze – and a long list of personal bests.

This group just keeps getting better and better each time out of the gate. One of the best examples of this is Brianna Wells, who dropped her personal best time in three different events – 50-metre freestyle, 100-metre individual medley and the 200-metre freestyle.

“It’s important because in regionals I will get to be swimming up with some higher ranked swimmers with these better times,” said Wells, 11. “I’ve come pretty far this year because I have been swimming two-hour practices and Tyler’s a really good coach, and I’ve been swimming with people who are in a higher age group then me.”
The Neufeld sisters – Claire and Renee – both had a big weekend despite being in the pool for the first time in two weeks. Both of them set multiple personal bests.

Cory Totman has also continually put up strong times, setting new personal standards on a weekly basis, including dropping about five seconds this past weekend off of his 200-metre individual medley time. Meanwhile, Jonathan Smyth continues to put up some of the strongest numbers in the province, as he came away with an agate silver.

“There’s a lot of medals to be had, but we’re taking our fair share,” said Totman. “I’m very confident in what they’ve done and I can’t wait to see them perform in regionals and provincials. I think it’s going to be one of our best years there.”

However, it’s not just the older group that is progressing rapidly. There are two young swimmers that are finding their way together in the pool and have really taken off since being paired together for training.
Despite being only seven and eight years old, Britt Wells and Rebekah Cavanagh have some lofty goals.
Cavanagh is already chasing down the 10-year-old girls club record in the 25-metre breast stroke, and has two meets left to do it with regionals and provincials.

“I am only a few seconds off of it, so I am hoping to get it,” said Cavanagh. “I like that regionals are going to be here, because this pool is easy for me to swim in because it’s my home pool and it’s a nice pool. I’ve been working really hard and I think I’m going to do well.”

Wells, however, is already within an arms reach of the provincial qualifying time for 10 year olds in the 50-metre freestyle. She is just three seconds off the time and has three years to get it, but there is a good chance she could be there before the year is out.

She credits swimming with Cavanagh for pushing her to this point.
“It’s fun swimming against her,” said Cavanagh. “We do well when swimming together.”
It is a friendly competition between the two that is pushing them both. Despite being good friends, neither likes being beaten by the other.

“It’s fun to practice racing with people,” said Cavanagh. “We’re racing against each other, but not really. We’re just having fun. Our times are pretty close, so we’re comfortable swimming against each other and trying to beat each other.”

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