Sports

Whalers beat the heat, win home meet

Brittany Paget of the Whalers competes in a Div. 3 girls butterfly race. - Jean Konda-Witte
Brittany Paget of the Whalers competes in a Div. 3 girls butterfly race.
— image credit: Jean Konda-Witte

With temperatures hovering in the mid-30s on the weekend, Centennial Pool was an inviting place to be.

That was certainly true for the Abbotsford Whalers, at least in terms of results – the local summer swim club hosted its annual home meet, and won the overall team title for the 12th consecutive year.

But the scorching conditions, according to Whalers head coach Josh Sandberg, were in fact an obstacle for athletes to overtime.

"It's great weather to be attending the meet (as a spectator), but for competitors, when you first hit the water, it gives you a shock," said Sandberg, noting that there was about a 10-degree difference in temperature between the pool deck (35 C) and the water (25 C). "It takes a few strokes or maybe a length to get up to top speed.

"It was something that they struggled with, but they still performed very well."

Among the top performers for the Whalers was 13-year-old Fallon Quast, who has fashioned an impressive run of dominance in the Div. 4 girls 50-metre butterfly.

Last weekend at the Watermania competition in Richmond, Quast set a meet record in the event with a time of 31.1 seconds. She carved more time off at the Whalers' meet en route to another meet record, clocking in at 30.6 seconds.

"Right now she's ranked first in the province in the 50 fly, and she keeps knocking off time," Sandberg marveled.

The Whalers combined to rack up 3,630.9 points, easily outdistancing the Haney Neptunes (2,317.9) and the Mission Marlins (1,360.8).

Abby's individual aggregate division winners were Quast (Div. 4), Sarah Portas (Div. 2), Madeline Fedora (Div. 7), Ely Davidson (O Cat. 1) and Julia Couto (O Cat. 2).

Aggregate runners-up included Zoe Unger (Div. 1), Mary-Rose Jerodico (Div. 2), Brenden Saether (Div. 5), Brady Utas (Div. 6), Sydney Stoltz (Div. 6), Lauren Jones (Div. 7) and Paolete Soto (Div. 8).

The meet drew 475 athletes, including teams from Kamloops, Kelowna, Port Moody and White Rock who usually don't compete in the Whalers' region.

"It was good competition for our kids before the end of the season," said Sandberg, noting that his group is gearing up for the regional championships Aug. 1-3 in Mission, and the provincials in Kamloops Aug. 15-17.

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