The Ladysmith Chemainus Orcas Swim Club wrapped up 2012 with a pair of recent competitions.
Coach Dusan Toth-Szabo visited Victoria from Dec. 7-9 with eight club swimmers in tow for Pacific Coast Swimming’s 2012 Xmas Cracker Invitational.
Toth-Szabo said Xmas Cracker was a highly competitive meet attended by more than 600 swimmers from clubs in B.C., Alberta and Oregon State.
No Orcas medalled in Victoria, but the majority of club members did post significant improvements.
Aileen Humphreys, 11, improved her 400-metre Free time by 11.12 seconds while Pamela Little, 12, shaved more than 11 seconds off of her time in 100m Back. Morgan Humphreys, 14, dropped 0:13.65 off of his 400m Individual Medley time and placed sixth overall in 1500m Free while shaving 1:25.81 off of his personal best with a time of 21:03.05.
Ten-year-old Faith Knelson, the club’s highest-ranked swimmer, was unable to compete at Xmas Cracker due to injury, Toth-Szabo said.
On Sat, Dec. 15, the Orcas travelled to the Cowichan Aquatic Centre to compete in the Winter Break Invitational 2012.
It was a “year-end fun meet,” Toth-Szabo said, that was “open to everybody.
“For the very young ones, we had 25-metre events where they didn’t have to start on the starting block and they could start from the water,” he said. “But there was every other event for the older swimmers, too.”
Of the 14 Orcas who attended the Duncan Invitational, three managed to improve their times by double and even triple digits.
Eight-year-old Bethany Geiger shaved more than 11 seconds off of her personal best time in the 25m Free and over 17 seconds off of her 25m Breast time.
Aileen Humphreys knocked 13.67 seconds off of her best time in 200m Back, but the most dramatic improvements on the day were made by Morgan Humphreys, who dropped 0:15.34 off of his personal best in 100m Fly and an additional 1:50.84 off of his 800m Free time with a first-place time of 11:05.79.
The Orcas are putting their training on hold during the Christmas school break, Toth-Szabo said, and they will return to the pool once school’s back in session in the new year. Their first competition in 2013 will be the Vancouver Island Regional Short-Course Championships, scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 18-20 in Comox. Toth-Szabo said he expects eight club members to qualify.