Glacier Bear in peak form at BC AAAs

Whitehorse Glacier Bear Isabel Parkkari was on her game last weekend in Victoria. Swimming at the BC AAA Provincial Championships, not only did the 14-year-old swim personal bests in every event, she won three medals.

Whitehorse Glacier Bear Isabel Parkkari was on her game last weekend in Victoria.

Swimming at the BC AAA Provincial Championships, not only did the 14-year-old swim personal bests in every event, she won three medals.

“I’m very happy,” said Parkkari. “I’ve been going to all my practices and training really hard. And I have a good coach.”

Parkkari, who was joined by three other Glacier Bears at the meet, was swimming in her first AAA competition for the 14-year-old age group. She nonetheless won silver in the 800-metre freestyle, silver in the 400-metre freestyle and bronze in the 400-metre individual medley.

In fact, SwimBC announced Tuesday morning that Parkkari’s results at the AAAs have netted her a spot on Team BC at the 2011 Prospect West meet in Lethbridge, Alberta, next month. At this point, she is the only Yukoner selected for the team.

Some highlights from Parkkari’s results include shaving 14 seconds off her previous best time in the 800 free, coming within four seconds of achieving a national senior time. Another is setting her first Glacier Bears club record, in the 400 IM, a record previously held by Bronwyn Pasloski, one of the most accomplished athletes to emerge from the club, now swimming NCAA for University of Indiana.

“I don’t think of it as knocking somebody else’s record out, I think of it as making a new record,” said Parkkari.

Parkkari also barely missed the podium in the 200 IM, taking fourth, and came sixth in the 200-metre freestyle and 14th in the 200-metre breaststroke.

Her time of nine minutes, 3.92 seconds, gives Parkkari the current ranking of fourth in Canada for girls 14-and-under and second in BC.

Joining Parkkari in Victoria were teammates Haley Braga, Taylor Campbell and Erin McArthur, all of whom reached finals.

Braga, swimming in the same age-group as Parkkari, reached two finals and had personal bests in three races, coming 7th in the 800-metre freestyle – an event she is ranked seventh in BC for – eighth in the 400-metre freestyle and 10th in the 200-metre backstroke. She also was 11th in both the 100- and 200-metre freestyle.

“She just turned 14, so she had to compete against 14-year-olds – it was her first meet in (the age-group),” said Glacier Bears head coach Marek Poplawski. “I think she was nervous, but she did really well.

“Same with Erin McArthur, she was 12, but now she was competing for the first time in 13 and she made finals, so it was good.”

McArthur made the finals and finished eighth in the 100-metre breaststroke, an event she is currently ranked ninth for in BC. She also swam to 11th in the 50-metre freestyle with a personal best time, plus 12th in the 200-metre breaststroke and 18th in the 200-metre IM.

Campbell, swimming in the 15-year-old category, only qualified for the meet a few weeks ago, winning two golds at the AA championships in Chilliwack, BC.

This past weekend in Victoria Campbell made the finals in the 200-metre freestyle, taking eighth. (She is currently ranked 14th in BC in the event.) She also took 10th in both the 100- and 200-metre backstroke events and was 11th in the 50-, 12th in 400- and 14th in the 100-metre freestyle events.

Because Campbell is 15, the four Glacier Bears were unable to compete in the 14-and-under relay event, having to instead compete in the 18-and-under, taking 19th in both the 200-metre freestyle relay and the 200-metre medley relay.

“They didn’t place too high, but there was some racing there as well,” said Poplawski.

Contact Tom Patrick at

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