Tuesday September 02, 2014

Speed swimmers do well at Provincials


Pictured are the athletes that took part in the “A” Provincials in Prince Albert. Back Row l to r: Cassidy Flasch, Kelsey Haczkewicz, Randi Jones, Jacob Baker, Coach Ashley Benko, Jennifer Haczkewicz. Front Row l to r: Ella Kozak, Matlyn Bulych, Shea Guest.

The Yorkton Storm Speed Swim Club recently sent eight swimmers to the “A” Provincials and Junior Cup that were jointly held in Prince Albert.

Five swimmers had earned a spot at the meet by swimming an “A” time at a meet leading up to provincials, and three younger swimmers took part in the Junior Cup.

Coach Benko was very impressed with the performances turned in by her squad, “Our swimmers exceeded my expectations taking off seconds from their previous personal best times.”  She went on to add, “Despite air quality issues in the pool and several swimmers being sick, four of our swimmers qualified for the Man-Sask meet which is coming up in Winnipeg.”

The group came home with quite a medal haul, twenty medals to be exact.  Jacob Baker lead the way with eight individual medals to his credit.  Baker came home with five gold in the 200m Individual Medley, 100m Breaststroke, 50m and 100m Freestyle, as well as the 50m Backstroke.

He added two silvers to his collection in the 100m Individual Medley, and 100m Butterfly.  Jacob rounded out his performance with a bronze in the 50m Butterfly.

Along the way Baker swam an “AA” time in the 50 Free and 100 IM, these two times coupled with the “AA” time he already had in the 50m Back give him three “AA” times heading into the Man-Sask Meet.

Jennifer Haczkewicz swam her way to the podium six times in Prince Albert.

Haczkewicz entered the Provincial Meet with five “AA” times so she couldn’t swim those races at this meet.  This slight problem allowed her to race in some events that she normally doesn’t compete in.

In the end she was golden in the 400m Freestyle, and 100m and 200m Backstroke events.  She added silver medals in the 200m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley events.  Jen ended her trips to the podium with a bronze medal in the 800m Freestyle event.  Like Baker, Haczkewicz also added to her “AA” times by swimming the “AA” standard in the 200m and 400m Freestyle races as well as the 100m Back.  She will be entering the Man-Sask Meet with an unprecedented eight “AA” times.  

Benko added, “Jen has had strong seasons in the past, but never one quite like this one, she can only enter seven races at Man-Sask so she is going to be faced with a decision of which race to leave out.”

Cassidy Flasch used the “A” Provincial Meet as a break-out meet.  She came home with two medals, a silver in the 50m Butterfly, and a bronze in the 50m Backstroke.  While the medals are impressive, the real breakthrough comes in the fact that both races were swam in the “AA” standard earning her a spot on the Man-Sask Team.  

Coach Benko commented that, “For both Flasch and Baker it will be their first trips to such a big meet, they both turned in very impressive performances.”  She added that this meet routinely attended by over 650 swimmers is a stepping stone to swimming greatness. “Man-Sask attracts the top swimmers from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario, along with swimmers from British Columbia and Alberta.”

Kelsey Haczkewicz also punched her ticket to the Man-Sask Meet swimming an “AA” time in the 50m Freestyle and 100m Individual Medley events.  Kelsey brought home four medals from the Provincial Meet, a gold in the 50m Free and three bronzes from the 50m Backstroke, 50m Breaststroke, and 100m Freestyle events.

Randi Jones attended the “A” Provincial Meet for the first time.  She took time off in all of her swims and is getting close to meeting the Man-Sask Standard.  

Matlyn Bulych, Ella Kozak and Shea Guest competed in the Junior Cup event in Prince Albert.  All three of them continue to improve at each event they attend and Kozak had a huge swim, in racing in the 10 and Under 400m Freestyle for the first time.  Kozak placed sixth swimming the race in 7.78.77.

“As our swimmers continue to train and grow they will continue to see huge improvements in competition,” stated Benko.  “Ella Kozak, Shea Guest, Matyn Bulych and Randi Jones are definite contenders for next years Man-Sask Championships.”

In what has now become a YSSC tradition the Storm Chaser Award was handed out to the swimmer that took the most time off per event on average at the event in Prince Albert.  Four swimmers ended up in a huge log jam for the prize.  Jacob Baker finished fourth taking off 6.21 seconds overall, Ella Kozak was third taking off 6.31 seconds, and Shea Guest was second taking 6.41 seconds off.

Jennifer Haczkewicz won the award by taking off 8.32 seconds overall.



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