Two days of miserably cold, wet conditions followed by two days of blazing sun did not deter Whitehorse Glacier Bear swimmers on the weekend.
They won nine medals at the 2007 Age Group National Swimming Championships.
More than 1,200 swimmers competed in the outdoor event, at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal.
Fourteen-year-old Alexandra Gabor led the charge, capturing gold in the 200- and 1,500-metre freestyle, along with silver in the 50-, 100-, 400- and 800-metre free.
She missed gold in the 50-metre free by a mere six one-hundredths of a second. Gabor’s efforts included three personal best times.
Meanwhile, Bronwyn Pasloski dominated the breast stroke events in the girls age-15 category.
Pasloski owned the competition in the 200-metre breast, finishing more than six seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
She repeated that feat in the 100-metre breast, leading by nearly three seconds, and captured bronze in the 50-metre breast, marking another personal best time in that event.
Pasloski also narrowly missed making the finals in the 200-metre individual medley.
Tanner Cassidy finished the meet with two personal best times, in the 50-metre fly and the 400-metre free, while Brendan Zrum took time off his personal best in the 400-metre free and missed a personal best by only five one-hundredths of a second in the 100-metre free.
This was the first appearance at Age Group Nationals for both swimmers.
Coach Marek Poplawski was pleased with his team.
“All the kids tried very hard at the meet and I’m very happy with results. Whitehorse Glacier Bears were mentioned several times by the meet announcer during the finals,” Poplawski said.
“Some people couldn’t put us on the map at first, but now they know.”
The experience gained at a meet of this calibre is invaluable for all the swimmers, especially the adverse weather conditions at the outdoor venue, he added.
Gabor and Pasloski will now travel to the 2007 Senior National Championships to be held next weekend in Calgary, where they will be competing against Canada’s best senior swimmers.
They will then join fellow Team Yukon swimmers in Edmonton for the Western Canada Games in August.
Both Gabor and Pasloski have also been selected by Swimming Canada to take part in the first ever North American Challenge Cup August 10-12 at the University of Southern California.
The meet will feature teams from Mexico, Southern California and Canada.
As well, both swimmers are vying for a spot on the Canadian Youth/Junior team, which will travel to Europe in February 2008 for meets in Switzerland and Luxembourg.
Selection of the team will be based on results of the Age Group Nationals last weekend and the Senior Nationals this weekend. Poplawski said both girls have a good chance to qualify.