Special to The Observer
Despite weeks of heat wave, the sky turned cloudy on Friday and it began to rain on Saturday just in time for the Agassiz annual swim meet. This seems to be tradition that it rains just in time for our swim meet. However the coolness made it more pleasant to be standing on deck cheering, coaching and encouraging the swimmers. All in all 49 swimmers and two coaches had a long but enjoyable meet together.
Claire Corder impressed all of us at her first swim meet with her enthusiasm and smiles. Normally 6 and under swimmers only do 25 m (1 length of the pool) but she enjoyed back stroke so much that she asked to swim 50 m with the older kids. It takes time and practice to learn about the specific rules around the correct way to finish the race and what position you are in when you touch the wall. Claire finished the race in 1:53.18 but was unfortunately disqualified for an illegal touch at the end of the race. She is ready to do it right next time.
Watching Randolf McInroy on the benches before his races you realize he is serious. Other swimmers are chatting, laughing, climbing trees and generally being kids. Randolf is serious and quiet. He tells me he wants to be at the top provincially. He certainly did well in Agassiz with a 1st place in 50 breast and 3rd in 50 fly, 100 IM and 100 free. His sister is more about personal best times than winning races. Still she came 4th in 50 fly and 5th in 50 free, smiling as she got out of the pool.
In summer club the meets are all a week or two apart so you start to expect and watch for the same swimmers to make to finals. This meet was no different for the three Stoeckly swimmers. Anton came second in 4 events: 50 free, 50 fly, 100 breast and 100 free. Dana came 1st in 50 fly and 4th in 50 back and 100 IM. Justine came in 4th in 50 fly and 5th in 100 breast. All 3 look beautiful and powerful when they race, moving fast and sleekly down the lanes; their hard work and training paid off.
One also tends to expect swimmers to finish around the same place in finals as in their heats. Once in awhile you get a nice surprise. This weekend Logan Sparkes impressed us in 100 back by moving from 5th to 2nd place taking off an extra 2 seconds for another best time. He also same 4th in 200 IM and 6th in 50 free and 50 fly.
Sometimes swimmers start to all look the same after hours of watching. You start to look for AHA on the swim cap to know who to cheer for. Then there are some people that stand out. When Alex Schwictenberg starts a race, you can’t miss him. He literally leaps off the blocks into a dive as the starter sounds. He is just as full of energy and enthusiasm between his races. He finished 6th in 50 free, 5th in 50 fly and 4th in 100 fly. His younger brother Mark is full of the same mischievous energy and finished 4th in 50 breast.
It is delightful to watch Jaydin and Taylor Lees coaching and helping the youngest swimmers learn how to swim and race at the meet. Taylor even got in the pool to swim beside some of the youngest kids and encourage them for their 25 m swim. Again at this meet they swam together (sometimes even in the next lane) in all their finals. Jaydin came 1st in 50 free and 100 breast, 2nd in 50 fly and 3rd in 100 free while Taylor came 4th in 50 free, 5th in 100 breast 4th in 50 fly and 6th in 100 free.
There are some other notable events I would like to mention. Amarri Reynen who came 1st in 50 fly and 2nd in 100 free. She really stepped up her freestyle in the finals. Nicola James came 4th in 50 fly. Brooklyn McMullin came 6th in 50 fly. Morgan Sparkes came 3rd in 50 back and 4th in 50 free.
Right after the heats are completed the team relays begin. The team energy in relays is intense. Even though each meet has the relay event an observer would think it was the first time the team raced together by the amount of excitement and screams of encouragement that occurs. Swimmers sometimes go faster in a relay than in their own events. This was the case in the Division 8 boys free relay. Nashon Douglas swam an impressive 25.81 seconds for his 50 free leg to out touch the Chilliwack team for a first place finish. Alex, Anton and coach Jordon swam on this team. Nashon of course also won the 50 free individual event. He also came second in 100 free and 3rd in 100 back. The Division 6 girls free relay consisting of Justine, Jaydin, Taylor and Katelyn Gafka also had a close exciting second place finish, with all the top 3 teams finishing within 2 seconds of each other. There was another new relay event at this meet – the coaches relay. It proved we really do have the best coaches! Sydney and Jordan won the event. Sydney also came 1st in her 100o fly and Jordan came 2nd in his 200 IM.
Thank you very much to all the sponsors who helped make this meet happen. Thank you to all the people who donated items for the silent auction. Finally thank you most of all to the parents who gave up their whole weekend to help time, run the computer programs, make announcements, be stroke and turn judges and provide great food for the volunteers. It was a great weekend and the sun did come out on Sunday afternoon.