Lloydminster Aquanaut Newspaper Articles.
Aquanauts make podium splash
Monday June 19, 2006
Lloydminster Meridian Booster
The Lloydminster Aquanauts won one for the dads in the stands at their annual
Father’s Day Weekend Swim Meet on Saturday at the Leisure Centre.
The club’s 31 participants combined to reel in three gold medals along
with two silvers and 53 personal bests en route to winning their home meet for
the first time in many years.
“It’s been awhile,” said coach Tyler Totman. “We had
so many amazing swims this weekend and now this sets a great base for the future
of our club and our performance in the long run.”
Leading the way yet again was 15-year-old phenom Jessica Kelly, who swam away
golden and in the process broke all four of the club records she set last weekend
in Vermilion – 100-metre freestyle, 100-metre backstroke, 50-metre freestyle
and 50-metre butterfly.
The latter being the most significant as she redeemed herself after settling
for silver in Vermilion. While it is little more than a one-horse race for Kelly
in the other three events, she has company in the 50-metre butterfly with Edmonton’s
Elaine Gross giving her all she can handle and then some.
“She beat me last weekend and I was out to get her back this time, especially
swimming in my own pool,” said Kelly. “I was really ready for that
race and my preparation paid off.”
It may be billed as a battle between bitter rivals, but rest assured Kelly
and Gross are actually good friends outside of the pool and live for the competition
they give each other in the water.
“It was a good race again, but she totally killed me on the turns,”
said Gross, 16, who swims out of Edmonton’s Huma Huma club. “Last
time it was a total dog fight in the water and this time she kind of pulled away
in the end, but it’s just a friendly competition and I love swimming against
her because she’s always pushing me to do more than I actually can.”
Totman certainly gets a kick out of watching the two go head-to-head, as they
consistently raise the bar while lowering their times.
“There’s a real rivalry brewing there and it’s exciting for
all of us,” he said. “It’s always nice to watch anyone swim
at that calibre and it really inspires our younger swimmers when they see them
going that hard.”
Kelly and Gross will soon find themselves swimming as teammates rather than
nemesis, however, as both have been named to an Alberta All-Star team for an upcoming
meet in Edmonton.
As for the rest of the field on Saturday, the event attracted about 240 swimmers,
ranging in age from four to 18, from eight clubs as far away as Edmonton. With
that level of competition in town, it would have been easy for the Aquanauts to
be overshadowed at their own meet, but they did their part to stand out.
Jonathan Smyth had a big day, winning gold in the boys’ 17-and-over
division and breaking a club record in the 100-metre freestyle along the way.
Likewise, Cory Totman shaved close to three seconds off the club record he set
in Vermilion last weekend, swimming his 100-metre backstroke heat in 1:06.98 to
join Smyth on the podium with a silver medal for his efforts.
Haley Howland was the Aquanauts other golden girl, taking top honours among
the 17-and-over girls, while Britt Wells followed up her gold medal performance
in Vermilion with a satisfying silver in the eight-and-under age group.
Next on the agenda for a majority of the Aquanauts competitive swimmers are
the Alberta Summer Games tryouts which are set for this Sunday.