Williams Lake Blue Fins head coach Chad Webb described it as by far the best results he’s seen from a swimmer at any meet he’s ever attended.
That’s after 13-year-old Blue Fin Jadyn Johnston racked up a whopping six gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal this past weekend at the BC Summer Games in Cowichan.
Johnston won golds in the 400-metre individual medley, the 200-meter individual medley, the 400-metre freestyle, the 100-metre butterfly, the 200-metre backstroke, the 200-metre butterfly, the 1,500-metre freestyle, a silver in the four by 50-metre free relay and a bronze in the 200-metre individual medley.
“Not only is he talented, he’s probably one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever coached,” Webb said. “He’s not afraid to get his butt kicked and come back for more the next day. You don’t get that combination often — the talent and work ethic — it’s one, two punch.”
Johnston has been a competitive swimmer for the past four years. He moved to Williams Lake from Terrace with his family in September of last year, attends school at Columneetza and now trains with the Blue Fins full time.
Johnston said he was most impressed with his result in the 1,500-metre freestyle.
“I think that was my best swim,” Johnston said. “I took off a bunch of time and it was just fun to swim with all those people.”
He said the experience at the Games was also first class.
“It was a bit different [than a normal meet], but a lot of fun just to have all those people there.”
Webb, meanwhile, said Johnston has shown steady improvement since his arrival with the Blue Fins.
“He’s certainly gotten better but he’s always been a darn good swimmer,” Webb said.
“We’ve been working all his swims. All around he’s a pretty good athlete. He’s like your young Michael Phelps. He doesn’t really have any horrible events. He can swim freestyle, his fly is really good and his backstroke got really good this year.”
With the Blue Fins now off for the summer following the Games, Webb said Johnston already has his sites set on next season.
Webb said an easy target for Johnston will be to compete at the Canadian Junior Nationals in Calgary in July of next year and to be in the hunt for a medal.
“I can see him being competitive there,” Webb said. “That’s our goal. And I think he’ll make some provincial teams, so he’ll likely be getting some provincial funding and travelling money through that.”
As for what the future holds, Webb said things are looking bright for the young swimmer.
“He welcomes hard work,” Webb said.
“He was on me this year about making sure he was doing enough and asking for more work when we felt like he wasn’t doing enough, so he’s just great to coach.”