The Yorkton Storm Swim Club had 13 swimmers attend the Saskatoon Lasers Septathlon Meet recently. The meet took place in the beautiful Shaw Centre, the site of the Canada Games swim venue.
This was the second long course meet of the season for the Yorkton swimmers. With the closing of the Lawson Aquatic Centre in Regina for meets due to air quality issues there is a real shortage of long course meets for the club to attend this season.
The absence of meets in Regina made the Lazer Septathlon extremely attractive to swimmers from across the province and into Manitoba. More swimmers meant more competition. The extra competition showed on the podium; only two Yorkton swimmers cracked the top three at the event.
Jennifer Haczkewicz medalled in all five of her events. She captured gold in the 100m Freestyle, and 100m Backstroke, she also added silver in the 50m Butterfly. She went on to finish the meet by adding three bronze medals to her collection in the 50m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, and the 200m Freestyle.
Matlyn Bulych was the other Yorkton athlete to medal. The eight-year-old captured a silver medal in the 50m Butterfly and later added a bronze in the 50m Breaststroke.
Bulych has come into her own this swim season and is proving to her competition that she is a force to be reckoned with when she steps up onto the starting blocks. The really neat thing about Bulych’s top three finishes is that she is competing against girls that are two years older than she is. Expect to hear much more from Bulych in future events.
When it came to swimming “A” and “AA” standard times, the club picked right up where they left off in Brandon, the last meet they attended. The thirteen swimmers amassed an unprecedented 22 “A” times along with seven “AA” times.
The story of the meet was easily the efforts and results turned in by Auston Roberts. This young man has been knocking on the door of an “A” qualifying time for several seasons. In Saskatoon, Roberts managed not one, but an awesome four “A” times to add his name to the list of Yorkton swimmers attending the “A” Provincial Long Course Meet in Swift Current.
Coach Ashley Benko admitted to getting a little teary-eyed with Roberts’ accomplishment. “I am so proud of Auston, and of all our swimmers, they have been achieving great things this season,” she added, “Everyone in our Yorkton section knew how close Auston was, so when he did it the section erupted!”
Along with Roberts, four other Yorkton swimmers, Bulych, Kaitlyn Burkell, Bryant Jones and Tea Rohatensky also swam to an “A” standard time at the meet. Their addition brings the total number of Yorkton swimmers that have qualified for provincials to 11; something that coach Benko never expected coming into the season, saying, “We’ve never had this many swimmers qualify for a provincial meet, I’m completely ecstatic!”
Ella Kozak received the Storm Chaser Award for the second straight meet in a row. The award is earned by the swimmer that on average takes the most time off in each of his/her events. At the Saskatoon Meet, Kozak averaged a whopping 17.06 second improvement over four races.
Next up for the club it’s back to the pool to ramp up their training efforts. The next meet for the team will be the Provincial “A” Long Course Meet in Swift Current during the first weekend in June.