Fourteen Yorkton Storm Swim Club members took part in the Long Course “A” Provincial swim meet recently. The meet took place in Swift Current. Long course is the term used to describe the swim season that takes place when the swimmers compete in a 50m long pool.
According to Head Coach Ashley Benko the swimmers had to qualify to compete at this meet by swimming an “A” time in competitions leading up to the event. The team did exceptionally well at the event bringing home 15 medals.
“I’m more impressed by the number of swimmers that medaled at this meet than the sheer medal count,” said Benko. “We had seven different medal winners at this provincial meet, that’s never happened before.”
Benko was quick to point out that the club’s three musketeers, Jennifer Haczkewicz, Jacob Baker and Cassidy Flasch, continued to impress her at this meet.
Benko’s Musketeers were forced to swim events that they seldom swim because they had “AA” times that didn’t allow them to swim their usual events in Swift Current. With that being said, Haczkewicz led the club’s medal count capturing three gold medals in the 200m IM, 200m Backstroke, and 400m Freestyle. She added a silver medal in the 50m Breast, an event she has just started swimming this season. Haczkewicz ended things off with a bronze medal in the 800m Freestyle event.
Jacob Baker made two trips to the podium winning gold in the 50m Butterfly, and adding a silver medal in the 50m Breaststroke while Flasch contributed a bronze in the 100m Backstroke.
“Going into the meet, it was a given that those three would be claiming some hardware at some point in the competition,” said Benko, “What really got me teary-eyed was seeing four first time provincial medal winners make their trips to the podium.” Auston Roberts won gold in the 50m Butterfly and then added a bronze in the 50m Breaststroke. “Just a couple meets ago we were yelling and cheering him on as he swam his first “A” qualifying times to get him to provincials for the first time, and now he medals, twice, fantastic!”
Randi Jones, in her first trip to the provincial meet, came home with two bronze necklaces to start her collection. Jones finished third in the 100m Breaststroke and added a third place finish in the 50m Breaststroke.
Tia Slowski and Katie Burkell also cracked the top three while attending the meet for the first time. Slowski won the bronze in the 50m Freestyle race while Burkell won the bronze in the 100m Freestyle event.
Benko says that what is going to be exciting to watch is how much better they become now that they have tasted some success at this level. “It’s great for our swimmers to see that all of their hard work really does pay off.”
Tea Rohatensky joined Burkell, Flasch, and Jones in the 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay to win the clubs 6th gold medal at the meet.
Jennifer Haczkewicz improved and average of 11.33 seconds over the course of her six swims at the meet to claim the “Storm Chaser Award.” Ella Kozak was second with a 7.17 second improvement over her five races and Tia Slowski was third with a 4.66 second improvement over her six races.
The next event for the club will be held in outdoors in Moose Jaw.