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Aquanauts soar at regionals

Josh Aldrich
Monday August 08, 2005
Lloydminster Meridian Booster

Any remaining questions about the Lloydminster Aquanauts swim club were answered this weekend.

They took the opportunity of hosting regionals to show the rest of the province they are a threat to the podium at all times. This weekend the club won 55 different medals in individual events and relays, and along the way set 65 personal bests and a few records.

“It has been an amazingly successful meet,” said Aquanauts coach Tyler Totman. “I have not seen results like these in a long time. I am impressed with what the kids have done, they have really put it together this year and I am proud of them.”

Jessica Kelly continued her dominance at the girls 13 and 14 division in an Aquanauts swim cap this summer. This weekend she won four gold medals – 100-metre freestyle, 50-metre freestyle, 50-metre fly and the 200-metre individual medley – set three personal bests, and set two new provincial records.

During prelims she broke her own record in the 50-metre fly (30:57) – she originally broke the 22-year-old record two weeks ago – and then she shattered the 200-metre IM (2:36:21), previously set by Amanda Saltesz in 2002 (2:36:87), in the final.

“I’ve been trying to set the 200-metre IM record since the beginning of the year,” said Kelly. “My dad and I even saw the girl who set it a couple of years ago, and every stroke she did was amazing. She was a great swimmer. I was a second-and-a-half off of it and I learned how to do a suicide turn from backstroke to breaststroke, so I think that helped a lot.”

She has one more record at this level she has been doggedly chasing down all year, the 50-metre freestyle, and she is closing in on it. She is just two-tenths of a second away from the old mark of 28:11, set by Tracy Remple of Fort Saskatchewan in 1986.

“It doesn’t seem to want to fall, but if the pressure is on I can hopefully perform and do good,” said Kelly.

Kelly wasn’t the only Aquanaut to have a big weekend as just about everyone took home a medal and a personal best. Some of the other highlights include Rebekah Cavanagh breaking a 10-year-old club record in the girls’ eight-and-over 25-metre breaststroke (22:72), and the likes of Mary Cavanagh, Brianna Wells and Keeley Mokelky with four personal bests.

Mokelky also picked up three medals in the girls 15 and 16 division – silver in the 100-metre free, bronze in the 13 and over 200-metre free and bronze in the girls open 800-metre free, plus two gold medals in the relays.

Mokelky says the success as a group was hard to avoid as the Aquanauts built a lot of momentum throughout the week.
“We’re all there for each other and we say ‘good luck’ before the races and ‘good job’ after the races,” said Mokelky, 15. “It was a good end to the season at home.”

Hayley Howland set two personal bests in the 50-metre fly and the 100-metre fly and she is just looking forward to provincials in Edmonton this coming weekend.

“The competition is unreal, you never know what to expect,” said Howland, 17, who will be competing in the 100-metre butterfly, the 50-metre butterfly, the 200-metre IM and the 100-metre breaststroke. “If you look at the website you could be first or second in the province, but when you get there, there could be a couple of other people that show up out of no where and you’ve never swam against before.”

Provincials are the final time many of these swimmers will have to reach personal goals for the year and that includes Jonathan Smyth.

Last year Smyth brought back four medals from provincials – two silver and two bronze – a haul he is looking at improving on this year.

“I swam against everyone last year that I’ll be swimming against this year, so I know what they do,” said Smyth, 17, who won four gold medals in the boys 17-and-over 400, 200, 100, and 50-metre freestyle events this weekend. “This event gives everyone confidence and you need confidence to do good.”

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