The Williams Lake Blue Fins Swim Club came away from the Quesnel Swim Meet earlier this month with four new provincial swimmers and an impressive number of best times.
Blue Fins head coach Chad Webb said the Fins went into the last race of the day slightly ahead of Prince George and well ahead of Quesnel and clinched the overall meet title with the top two spots in the final ‘Gold Pan Relay.’
The Gold Pan winning team was composed of Blue Fins Taylor Fitzgerald, Jadyn Johnston, Emma Grace MacDonald and Rachel Elefson, while the second-place lakecity team was less than a half a second behind with Cristelle Panida, Gabby Knox, Andrew Shearer and Melissa Elefson.
New provincial qualifiers Aliya Grant, Jadyn Grant and Braedi Hamar will join teammates Peyton Bailey, Rowan Smith, Jordyn Stokes, Lucas Johnston and Gabrielle Knox in the Age Group Provincials in Vancouver in two short weeks.
Panida will join the older group of swimmers at senior provincials in four weeks in Kamloops with already qualified swimmers Fitzgerald, Jadyn, Morgan Langford and Abby Webb, bringing the total to 13 swimmers representing Williams Lake at both provincials.
Emma Grace MacDonald, Webb added, came close to qualifying for the provincial team, as well as posting a provincial time, but narrowly missed her needed second swim.
“She had a very impressive meet with many others,” Webb said. “Aliya Grant and Braedi Hamar persevered until the last day where the two finally clinched their second qualifying time in the 200 backstroke.
“‘Never give up’ was the motto behind these two, as they missed a couple of swims by seconds, while Braedi missed two other swims by less than half a second.”
READ MORE: Blue Fins send strong team north for PG meet
Webb added Addyson and Ashtynn Cullum were also both impressive in their first out-of -town meets as Addyson placed top 10 in three events while Ashtynn was first in the 50-metre backstroke, second in the 25-metre freestyle, third in the 50-metre breaststroke and fourth in both the 50-metre butterfly and 50-metre freestyle.
Andrew Shearer, Gabrielle Knox, Lucas Johnston and Jadyn Johnston, meawhile, won every single individual race they were in during the weekend, while Fitzgerald brought home first in the 100-metre backstroke, 200-metre individual medley and second in all her other six races.
Webb noted huge improvements at the meet came from Marissa Sellars, Aliya Grant, Jadyn Grant, Emma Grace MacDonald and Jordyn Stokes.
Aggregate winners in their age groups were:
• Melissa Elefson: first aggregate
• Rachel Elefson: second aggregate
• Taylor Fitzgerald: second aggregate
• Lucas Johnston: first aggregate
• Jadyn Johnston: first aggregate
• Gabrielle Knox: first aggregate