New Whitehorse swim club bags national records

The Yukon Graylings Masters Swim Club is only in its first season of existence, and it can already boast national records.

The Yukon Graylings Masters Swim Club is only in its first season of existence, and it can already boast national records.

The new Graylings club had three swimmers compete at the Victoria Masters Long Course Meet on Vancouver Island on Saturday.

Graylings’ Mary Anne Myers set two national records and three B.C. provincial ones in the women’s 60-64 age group.

In fact, she set four records in one swim.

Myers, who came away with two gold, set the B.C. and national records in the 1,500-metre freestyle with a time of 22:13.73.

Within her 1,500-metre performance, she set the B.C. and national 800-metre freestyle record with her split time of 11:47.81.

Myers, who moved into the 60-64 group this season, also broke B.C.‘s 400-metre freestyle record at 5:48.80.

“It was a lot of fun. It’s a day meet, so it’s a lot in one day,” said Myers. “It’s still early in the season, so usually I break these records a little later on. Like nationals is in May. So I didn’t feel as totally prepared as I’d like to have been, but it all worked out great.”

Myers wasn’t the only Graylings swimmer to medal. Teammate Angie MacNeil, swimming in the women’s 45-49 group, won gold in the 100-metre breaststroke and the 200-metre freestyle.

Despite being almost 25 weeks pregnant, Graylings’ Victoria Ryan completed the 400-metre freestyle in 5:45:09, to place second out of two swimmers in the women’s 35-39 group.

“I went in with the mindset that I want to swim this race even though I was pregnant,” said Ryan. “So I had set expectations very low, but I’m very happy with the race actually.”

The Graylings club was started last summer and began regular practices in September. The club, which is for swimmers 18 and up, was founded by Myers, Ryan, MacNeil and Olwyn Bruce and currently has about eight members.

It is a registered member of Masters Swimming of B.C. and Masters Swimming of Canada.

“(The Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club) used to have a masters group and they ran it for several years … But due to a few different things – the cost of rentals at the aquatic centre – they didn’t really get the program to sustain itself because renting lanes is really expensive,” said Ryan. “In the end they decided they were going to take a break from running the masters group. We were a small group of masters swimmers who decided to set up a separate club.”

“The lanes got too expensive, so we started up our own club and managed to make a better deal (with the city),” said Myers, who is the club’s social director. “Most masters clubs are not affiliated with a youth club, they are usually on their own. So that’s what we decided to do. We didn’t want to not have a club and the Glacier Bears were ready to drop us.”

The Graylings currently hold practices at the Canada Games Centre on Sundays at 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., but members also get together during public swimming hours.

Those interested in learning more can contact the club at graylingsmasters@gmail.com or visit the website at yukongraylings.wordpress.com.

“We decided to start small and let it grow organically … but we all feel there’s potential for growth,” said Ryan. “Once word gets out, we think it could grow to a much bigger club.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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