The Lacombe Dolphin Swim Club was successful in a number of events at the 2015 Alberta Summer Swim Association (ASSA) Provincial Championships this past weekend.
A silver medal was awarded to the 18-and-over medley relay team in the 200m open category for their time of 2:25:76. The same team members – Caitlin Debree, 15, Emily Craven, 16, Presley Wakunuk and Sydney Robinson – also won a bronze medal in the 18-and-over 200m free relay competition.
Debree and Craven were moved into a higher age category, as the Dolphins did not have enough females in their category to compete. The two proved that they could take the challenge and helped their teammates secure second and third placements.
“The whole weekend was a lot of fun. Lots of the kids took off time, across a lot of events. It was very exciting. With Presley (Waknuk, co-coach) and myself, we had 21 swimmers there,” said co-coach Sydney Robinson.
“We had lots of best times and good places in the long backstroke and short back – 100m backstroke and 50m back. We also had some really good breaststroke runs, and we had a lot of kids in breaststroke. In 100m and 50m breast there were a lot of kids.”
In the 10-and-under 100m free relay, swimmers Hayden Galbraith, 9, Kylie Schatschneider, 9, Alexa Milot, 9, and Dylan Beckett, 10, were all pleased to receive a bronze medal for their time of 1:14:95.
Robinson was humble about her medals and placements and was extremely proud of her teammates. The 2015 summer swim season was her first opportunity to coach and she said she was very pleased to be a part of the Club.
“Our season went really well. For the last couple of weeks we were training hard to prepare for Regionals. Then we eased off a little bit in the couple of weeks before Provincials. We trained them pretty hard going into Regionals to make sure that the athletes were at their peak,” she said.
Throughout the season, the Dolphins rose to the challenge of their competitions. At a home meet held earlier in the season, the Dolphins made an impression in the swimming community with lots of personal improvements and impressive outcomes.
Robinson said she learned a lot through her experience with the team this year, and she looks forward to furthering her coaching with the group.
“I got to see these kids grow over the four months we had together. It was my first year coaching this team – my first coaching experience ever, so it was great to see the improvement that four months of hard work can bring,” she said.
“Night and day those kids worked. Their technique just improved leaps and bounds and it was really cool to see that.”
Aside from coaching, both Waknuk and Robinson competed in a number of events.
Waknuk also placed third in the girls 18-and-over 50m backstroke, with a seed time of 25:24, and a final time of 35:71. In the same category but 100m, she finished third with a final time of 1:16:13. She was also second in the girls 18-and-over 100m individual medley (final time 1:16:72).
In addition to her medals, Robinson placed sixth in the girls 18-and-over 50m breaststroke with a time of 40:89.
“Provincials were motivating for me. Presley and I swam at a couple meets this year and we wanted to do well to show the kids what hard work can do, and to show how practice can help you excel,” Robinson said.
She explained she is mostly retired, but decided to compete in this year’s Provincial Championships.
“We definitely ended on a high note.”
The summer swim club season is now over, but will start up again in May of 2016.