It was a long season for members of the Bulkley Valley Otters Swim Club, and the results can only lead to the conclusion that it has been a very successful one.
Last Sunday, members of the club got together one more time for its annual awards presentation and wrap-up meeting.
Top swimmers for the team were not really much of a surprise. With 18 club records, Kanna Kurihara was named the top female swimmer of the year. Kurihara was a force to contend with at every meet she attended and could always be counted on to be among the outstanding performers.
According to head coach Tom Best, Kurihara always raced in a manner that shows her attention to detail.
“Every start, every turn, every stroke was always right on,” he said. “In her races she was the swimmer the others were trying to beat.”
On the male side, Fergus Hobson was the outstanding performer. Hobson, who was a late starter in the program, showed what hard work and attention to detail in practice can accomplish as he went from never qualifying for higher level competitions to becoming one of the top 200 meter butterfly swimmers in the province.
In competition, Best said that Hobson went from the unknown swimmer to the one to beat.
“It was nice to see how a kid can develop into a mature athlete with confidence and ability,” he said. “He’s also developed into a team leader who the little kids look up to.”
Zacary Durnin was named the recipient of the special Brodie Buckfink Award. This award is given to a swimmer who demonstrates the attitudes of persistence and determination that the club is tryng to foster in all of its swimmers.
“Zach worked hard all year long and his results were consistent every time he was in a race. He’s going to continue to improve and progress,” said Best.
Most Inspirational Swimmer of the year was Konrad Thummerer. Another late starter, Thummerer approached every practice and race with a positive attitude that allowed him to improve his results to a great degree. In his triathlon swims, in the past Thummerer was deep in the pack but now is among the leaders coming out of the water.
Most improved senior level swimmer for the season was Liam Belanger, while top improving younger swimmers included Elia Garland, Ashton Wille, Brilee Woodworth and Daniel Woudstra.
–Submitted by Bulkley Valley Otters.