Bree Cooper tested the waters in Manitoba this weekend at her first national level competition.
The 14-year-old Shuswap Swimming Team member took part in the Swimming Canada Western National Championships. More than 450 athletes participated, from those like Cooper, who only recently qualified to race there, to athletes who have represented the nation on the international stage.
The competition allowed Cooper to race only in three events. She qualified to race in the 50-metre butterfly, and also swam the 100-m backstroke and 50-m freestyle races.
In the 50-m Butterfly, Cooper posted her fastest time ever, 29.68 seconds, and ended up in a respectable 17th spot for the female swimmers aged 15 and younger.
On the second day of the competition, Cooper swam her bonus races and was 50th in the backstroke and 38th in the freestyle.
The meet continued for two more days, but her goal of swimming at that level, and preparing to understand what to expect for future national level competitions, was achieved.
Cooper’s next racing opportunity will be the Swim BC AAA Short Course Provincial Championships held in Surrey, March 1-4, where she will join teammates Skyla Eberle, Jake Kitchen and Ethan Quilty.