The Lacombe Dolphins had a successful home swim meet last week where they invited eight other teams to partake in their ‘Big Splash’ event.
The Dolphins had 51 swimmers compete in the event, part of a total of 252 swimmers from the Central Alberta region. This was the first swim meet of the season held in Lacombe, at the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre.
“There was 18 first place finishes, which are judged by event rather than by heat. At the end, they also do aggregate medals that are judged overall in the age group and are given to the three highest scoring people in each age group. We had four people who won those,” said Coach Presley Waknuk.
The recipients of the aggregate medals are Kolby Bargholz who won gold in girls 15-17 age group, Emily Craven with silver in girls 15-17, Travis Fleming with bronze in boys 15-17 and Caitlyn Pruden with a bronze in the girls six and under category.
As well, a ‘Swimmer of the Meet’ acknowledgement is made for those who work hard at the meets and make great improvements. Jack Weidner (junior category), Jordan Beckett (intermediate level) and Adam Craven (senior level) were the Dolphin recipients of this acknowledgment.
“We also had 135 best times. A lot of those were from last year, because this is only our second meet of the season. That’s really good though because not everyone is going to place or get first, but everyone seems to be improving,” Waknuk said.
“We did about as well as we usually do. This was just a club meet, whereas at the end of the season there are regionals and provincials, and those are the ones that we’re working towards. That’s where we really want to do well. These meets are more for trying out new swims, and getting everyone back in the water because it’s the beginning of the season.”
Alberta is divided into six regions, Central Alberta being Region D. On the weekend of Aug. 8th, regional competitions will be held to determine qualifications for provincial competition. The top two teams of each division move forward to compete in provincials.
Currently, the Dolphins operate three groups of swimmers – juniors, intermediates and seniors.
“There are three different pool times so that Sydney (Robinson) and I can coach everyone. With the youngest kids, we’re just working towards their technique and getting all four strokes legal so that they don’t get disqualified. Intermediates, most of them know how to swim all four strokes, so it’s more about working on small technicalities and speed. For the oldest group, we really push endurance. We really focus on getting the metres in and getting them to go fast at a provincial level,” Waknuk said.
“Provincials are the middle of August. Every club has a meet, and there are nine clubs in our region. The province is split up into six regions, and we’re Region D, so that covers most of Central Alberta. We tend to stay in our region until provincials, and then all regions come together. That’s the best of Alberta.”
Regional qualifications occur only one week before provincials, so swimmers must be prepared for the competition before hand. The Dolphins practice several times each week and work on strokes, styles and accuracy.
The next scheduled meet that the Dolphins can participate in occurs June 21st in Forestburg, Alberta.