Gabor makes Pan Pacific team, Pasloski bids farewell to Glacier Bears

Usually an athlete can relax after a competition is complete, but that was not the case for Glacier Bears swimmer Alexandra Gabor.

Usually an athlete can relax after a competition is complete, but that was not the case for Glacier Bears swimmer Alexandra Gabor.

The Whitehorse athlete wrapped up the Summer National Championships in Victoria over the weekend, earning enough FINA points for a spot on Canada’s Pan-Pacific Championships team. However, due to a clerical error by Swim Canada, when the team list came out, her name was nowhere to be found.

Instead, a swimmer from Victoria was erroneously given the last spot. What followed were anxious days of waiting to see what solution Swim Canada could come up with.

In the end, Swim Canada applied for and received an extra spot, allowing Gabor onto the team.

“Alexandra should be on the team because she’s 26th in points,” said Glacier Bears head coach Marek Poplawski. “They didn’t know how to get out of the situation because either way they’re wrong. Either they take (the other swimmer) off the team after announcing she was on, or there’s Alexandra who made the team but isn’t selected for the team.

“So what they did, (Swim Canada CEO) Pierre LaFontaine, asked the charter countries

– Australia, Japan, US – to allow Canada to put one more woman on the team. Instead of 26, they put in 27, to satisfy everybody.”

Qualifying her for the team was a fifth place finish in the 200-metre freestyle. Gabor also came seventh in the 100-, 14th in the 400- and 23rd in the 50-metre freestyle events.

“I felt that my performances at Nationals were decent,” wrote Gabor, in an e-mail to the News. “I’m not particularly happy or satisfied with them, but it’s nice to know that now I have another shot to improve. This past week in training I’ve really worked hard on some technique issues, which may have caused me to swim slower, to some extent, at the meet.”

Gabor will now remain in Victoria to continue training with Team Canada before heading to the Pan-Pacific Championships in Irvine, California, August 18-22.

“I found out today that I’ll be added as the 27th female member to the Pan Pac team!” wrote Gabor. “It’s really excited, and I’m really happy that I get another chance to swim fast and represent Canada!”

For long-time Glacier Bears teammate Bronwyn Pasloski, the Summer Nationals represented the end of the road for her on the Whitehorse team. Having accepted a full-scholarship to Indiana University, Pasloski will soon be on the Hoosier state swim team, a top-10 NCAA team for the last two years.

“Woohoo, time to move on,” said Pasloski. “It’s sad, but I’m quite excited to move on.

“It’s nice to go out there and represent the Yukon and Whitehorse, and being able to stand up for all the people that feel like they can’t make it far in anything, coming from such a small town – just being able to say, ‘You can do anything you want to do and nothing can stop you.’”

Pasloski wrapped up her stint with the Glacier Bears coming 11th in the 100-, 14th in the 50- and 26th in the 200-metre breaststroke events. She also came 82nd in the 100-metre backstroke.

“You can always do better – you always want to do better,” said Pasloski. “It wasn’t my fastest. I had some training that needed to be done – I feel like I didn’t do enough this year.

“There was some good swimming, but it wasn’t too fast. But it was good overall.”

Having recently moved up to the 18-and-over age group, Pasloski set new Glacier Bears long-course club records in each of her events, bringing her total to 47. With the Bears she also set four BC provincial age group records and, in just the last year, has won silver at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, won bronze at the Speedo Western Canadian Short Course Championships, won two bronze medals at the Australian Age Group Championships, three bronze medals at the Swim Canada Age Group Nationals, bronze in a Canada Cup event and added two more silvers at the 2009 Paul Bergen Junior International in Portland, Oregon, in December.

“She’s been very successful – she’s a very talented girl,” said Poplawski, who has coached Pasloski the last six years. “She’s has had good success on the road, she was carded for one year, she made the junior national team.

“She’s had a very successful career so far and it’s not over – it’s just beginning. Altogether it was a very pleasant experience. I’m very proud that I was part of it.”

Proving swimmers can continue advancement after leaving the club, former Glacier Bears swimmer Mackenzie Downing, who now swims for the University of Victoria, also qualified for Canada’s Pan-Pacific team. Downing qualified with a second-place finish in the 200-metre butterfly. She also came seventh in the 100-metre butterfly, 25th in the 400-metre freestyle and 33rd in the 100-metre freestyle.

Contact Tom Patrick at