The Waveriders showed a lot of character and battled through adversity at the MJB Classic swim meet in Kamloops mid-December.
Audrey Jespersen won a bronze medal in her 50-metre freestyle race and several swimmers achieved personal bests (PBs) despite most of the team nursing one malady or another coming into, and in some cases during, the event.
Coach Jeritt Brink says they earned a lot of respect from him for their performances.
“We typically get quite sick when everyone in town comes down with something, but the swimmers try to do what they love and perform,” he says.
“But nobody complained. Nobody made the excuse of ‘I’m sick’ or ‘I’m sore.’
“Audrey had no voice when she arrived and it got worse by the day. Chloe [Hopton] hurt her hip three days before and banged up her knee and still got six PBs.”
“Billy Swyers was ungodly sick for a week or two prior to the week and lost 14 lbs but still got a Tier II qualifying time in 50-metre backstroke.”
Brink says when the swimmers first arrived at the meet they did not look like their usual chipper selves, but none of them used it as a crutch, which is something he hopes they lock into forever.
“Years from now, they can look back when they’re feeling under the weather and say to themselves, ‘Oh, I had a moment where I was kind of down and out and the body was aching, so now I know it’s going to hurt and not feel the best, but I might surprise myself.'”
Next up for the team is some much needed recovery time. Brink says the squad will take a couple of weeks off and then start training for a long course meet in Kelowna.
Jesperson and Swyers will also be heading to the North east Prospects Camp in early January.
Norah Cameron (11) swam in the 11-12 year-old category. She was in the top 30 in seven events. She placed 11th in 400 Free and all of her races were PB times.
Ava Clayton (9) swam in the 10-and-under age category. She came 17th in 200 Free and 14th in 50 Back and got two PBs.
Gavin Currie (13) swam in the 13-14 year-old category. She was in the top 10 in four of her events. She came in 10th in 50 Free, 9th in 50 Back and 100 Breast and 5th in 50 Breast. She got seven PBs and qualified for Tier II provincials in 50 Free and 100 Breast.
Grace Currie (15) swam in the 15-and-over category. She was in the top 25 in six events and got six PBs.
Chloe Hopton (12) was in the top 10 in five events. She came 7th in 50 Fly, 100 Free and 400 Free, 6th in 50 Back and 4th in 50 Free. She got six PBs and a Tier I provincial qualifying time in 50 Free.
Courtney Hopton (10) was in the top 25 in all of her events. She placed 12th in 50 Back and 100 Back and she got two PBs.
Audrey Jespersen (16) swam in the 15-and-over category. She was in the top 10 in five of her events. She came 4th in 100 Free and earned a bronze medal for her 50 Free race. She got Tier II provincial qualifying times in 50 Free, 100 Free and 100 Back.
Evie MacDougall (11) swam in the 11-12 year old category. She was in the top 25 in all of her events. She placed 15th in 50 Back and got four PBs.
Jasreet Samra (9) swam in the 10-and-under category. She was in the top 20 in four of her events. She got two PBs and placed 16th in 200 Free and 13th in 50 Back.
Memphis Swaan (10) was the high-point scorer for the team. He was in the top 10 in all of his events. He came 6th in 50 Breast, 5th in 200 Free and 4th in 50 Back.
Billy Swyers (15) swam in the 15-and-over age category. He was in the top 20 in five events. He placed 15th in 50 Fly and 13th in 50 Breast. He got a Tier II provincial qualifying time in 50 Free.