Lloydminster Aquanaut Newspaper Articles.
Aquanauts reel in records, medals at regionals
Friday August 18, 2006
Lloydminster Meridian Booster
The Lloydminster Aquanauts reset the standard for excellence at this past weekend’s
regional swim meet at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton.
Despite taking only 13 swimmers to the annual event, the Aquanauts returned
home with 34 medals, 27 personal bests, nine club records and one provincial record,
while finishing fourth overall in team points in what was one of the club’s
all-time best showings at regionals.
“We had a phenomenal meet, everyone just swam their hearts out,”
said coach Tyler Totman, who hopped back into the pool himself and became one
of 11 Aquanauts to qualify for this weekend’s provincials in Calgary with
a gold-medal performance in the 100-metre backstroke.
That event is usually dominated by his younger brother Cory, who suffered
a severe ankle sprain at the Alberta Summer Games in Red Deer a couple of weeks
back and has been out of the pool ever since.
“If Cory was there I wouldn’t have been winning that’s for
sure,” said Totman. “But that’s the stroke I used to swim a
lot of back in the day and hopefully I can finish close to my old personal best
While Totman was quick to downplay his own accomplishment, he was ecstatic
with the efforts of his students – young and old. From first-timers Jordan
and Jeanna Siemens, who both swam personal best times, to phenoms Jessica Kelly
and Jonathan Smyth, who combined for 12 medals including 10 golds, there was no
shortage of highlights for the Aquanauts.
It was just another day in the pool for Kelly, however, as she was up to her
old tricks at regionals – setting a new provincial record in the 200-metre
individual medley, shattering the old mark by nearly a full second-and-a-half.
“I knew (the record) was within reach, but I didn’t think I would
get it at regionals because that was my first time swimming the IM all year,”
said Kelly, who is riding a wave of confidence after also resetting her own club
records in the 15-to-17-year-old girls’ 100-metre backstroke and 100-metre
butterfly at regionals. “For provincials I want to get that IM record lower
and go after the 100-metre backstroke record and maybe even get the 50-metre butterfly
Not to be outdone, Smyth set four club records in the boys’ 17-and-over
division at regionals – three of which were already his and another in the
50-metre freestyle which had stood since 1985 and was once a provincial record.
The former fast-time holder, Dave Saunders, was present to witness his record
fall and later swam alongside Smyth as part of the Aquanauts’ gold-medal
winning relay team.
“That 50-free was my closest race of the day and really the only one
I had major competition in, but I pulled it out in the end,” said Smyth,
who didn’t finish second in anything at regionals, taking gold in four individual
races two relays. “I’m ranked first in all four of my events heading
into provincials, so if I swim the way I can then technically I should end up
on top of the podium.”
Among the Aquanauts other medal favourites for provincials are Natasha Pidkowa
and A.J. Mokelky, who boast the province’s top breaststroke qualifying times
in their respective age groups. Britt, Brianna and Brayden Wells along with Friedrich
Naude will also be making the trip to Calgary.
“As a club we are shooting for eight medals at provincials which would
be a phenomenal haul for only 11 swimmers,” said Totman. “Our goal
for this year is be a Top 10 club and then maybe Top 5 next year.”