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Totman swimming to the top

Josh Aldrich
Wednesday August 01, 2007
Lloydminster Meridian Booster

In sports there are few things that will motivate an athlete like to trying to avenge an injury shortened season.

Cory Totman’s swimming season came to an abrupt end at the worst possible time last year, but he has come back with a vengeance, shattering age-old club records and working himself to the top of the overall rankings.

“I’m feeling strong, I just need a little more speed and a little more endurance,” said Totman, 19, who is in his 14th competitive swimming season.

The season ending incident occurred almost exactly a year ago today. He was preparing for his second preliminary swim at the Alberta Summer Games in Red Deer dreaming of finding the podium at least twice. He jumped in the pool, and those dreams turned to a nightmare.

He landed awkwardly in the pool, tearing just about every ligament in his right ankle.

Not only were his Summer Games over, it took him out of the provincial equation later that month as well, where once again he was expected to be one of the top swimmers in the 17-and-over division.

“It’s motivation for this year and I’m being way more cautious getting in and out of the pool, I don’t want to hurt myself,” said Totman.

The injury had Totman inactive and out of shape into February, but since has turned things around to the point where he is now the top-ranked swimmer in his category in Alberta. For provincials this year he is eyeing the title his Aquanauts teammate and friend Jonathan Smyth captured last year – Alberta Summer Swimming Association Most Outstanding Male Swimmer.

“Jon won it last year and it would be nice if I won it this year, back-to-back Aquanauts 17 and over boys winning it,” said Totman, who will be swimming in the 200-metre IM, 100-metre back stroke, the 1,500-metre freestyle, and the 400-metre freestyle. “You swim four races and add up the points and whoever has the most points at the end of the day gets the trophy.”

His coach and brother Tyler Totman, says he is well on his way to accomplishing his goal. In the 20 different individual events he has swam in this year, he has finished first in all but two of them, and even then he still found the podium with second and third place finishes. Along the way he has taken out two 25 year-old club records, the latest being the 200-metre IM previously held by Hobie Horton, a former ASSA Most Outstanding Male Swimmer.

“He really has picked up his training this year, even on his days off he’ll come into the pool and swim 2,000 metres, plus put a jog in. This is really an example of hard work, more than natural talent or anything,” said Tyler. “Focusing is his number one feature, he focuses on his goal and does what it takes to get there. He’s almost trying to make up for what he missed out on last season with this year.”

Totman isn’t the only one who has seen success the last few weeks. In Provost two weeks ago the club had four personal bests and collected five overall medals from nine swimmers – Cory Totman won 17-and-over male gold, Haley Howland took the 17-and-over female gold with Keeley Mokelky finishing second, A.J. Mokelky took gold in the 15-to-16 male division, and Rebekah Cavanagh earned gold in the nine-to-10 female division.

The next day in Fort Saskatchewan there were 11 personal bests set and they collected three more overall medals – Cory Totman won gold in the 17-and-over male division with Tyler taking silver, and Howland took silver in the 17 and over female division.

This past weekend at the Sylvan Lake Open Water event, the club sent five swimmers with Howland winning her age group in the 2.5-kilometre swim, Keeley, Tyler, and Jessica Kelly finished second in their age groups in the 2.5-kilometre swim, and Cory finished fourth in his group in the five-kilometre swim.

“We’ve had some really successful meets so far this year,” said Tyler. “It’s our hard work that is really paying off.

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