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Glacier Bears capture 19 medals in Kamloops

Seventeen members of the Glacier Bears swim club competed in B.C. over the weekend, coming home with 19 medals.

Seventeen members of the Glacier Bears swim club competed in B.C. over the weekend, coming home with 19 medals.

The Whitehorse team also toppled a total of 11 club records at the Kamloops Classic, which saw 435 swimmers from 25 clubs compete.

“It was great to see so many (Glacier Bears) swimmers in the finals,” said Glacier Bears head coach Malwina Bukszowana in a news release. “Almost in every final and in every stroke we had somebody racing. It was easy to notice our swimmers going hard and staying strong… Each start we were ahead or even with other athletes from the heat, but we were the ones staying the longest under the water, which means that Glacier Bears are learning a very important skill for this sport and are slowly mastering it. At this age it is a good habit to have. From now, it can only get better if they will continue thinking about it during practice.”

Speedy siblings Rennes and Cassis Lindsay combined for 12 of their team’s 17 medals.

Not only did Cassis win four gold, she punched her ticket for the 2015 Canadian Age Group Championships at the end of July in Quebec City. After having two under her belt, Cassis notched her third and final required qualifying time for the nationals. She also won gold in the 200-metre individual medley (IM), the 50-metre freestyle, the 100-metre freestyle and the 200-metre freestyle for girls 13-14. Cassis also claimed fourth in the 100- and 200-metre backstroke events.

Rennes had already set three qualifying times for the age group nationals earlier this season, but she improved on them in Kamloops. Swimming in the girls 11-12 category, Rennes improved her times in the 200 IM, 400 IM and the 200 free, with each resulting in a gold. She also won gold in the 200- and 400-metre butterfly, and bronze in the 100 free and 50 fly.

Whitehorse’s Thomas Bakica got the variety pack of hardware and set four club records over the weekend. Bakica swam to gold in the 200 fly, silver in the 200 breaststroke and bronze in the 50 free. He made the A final in six out of his seven events, making the B final in the 100 back.

“It is his the weakest stroke so far, but he is working hard to correct his mistakes and improve it,” said Bukszowana. “He needs it for his favourite 200 IM event.”

The Glacier Bears’ youngest swimmer in Kamloops claimed hardware. Kassua Dreyer won silver in the 200 free for girls under 10 and also raced to fourth in the 100 breast, fifth in the 100 free, sixth in the 50 breast and seventh in the 200 IM.

Whitehorse’s other medal came from Aiden Harvey, who reached four A finals and took bronze in the 100 back for boys 11-12.

Other top finishes for Whitehorse include Hannah Kingscote sixth in the 50 fly and 100 back for girls 13-14; Brooklyn Massie, who set personal bests in every event, fifth in the 50 back and 100 back for girls 11-12; and Emma Boyd reaching B finals for the 50 back, 50 free, 100 free and 200 free.

Ella Pollock-Shepard placed seventh in the 200 breast for girls 11-12 and made three B finals.

“(Pollock-Shepard), who is only second year in our swim club, is not wasting her time. Ella listens to every coaching advice and she goes out hard in every race,” said Bukszowana.

Luke Bakica, in over-14 boys, won the 200 IM B final; Meghan Pennington made five B finals in 11-12 girls; Cassidy Cairns raced in two B finals for girls 13-14; Rebecca Koser set best times and made the 50 breast B final.

Rennes Lindsay, Massie, Pennington and Boyd also teamed up to win silver in the 4x50 free relay. Massie, Pollock-Shepard, Rennes and Boyd also grabbed bronze in the 4x50 medley relay.

As for club records, Thomas Bakica set his in the 200 fly (3:19.28), 50 free (31.06), 100 free (1.09.00) and the 200 breast (3:12.42).

Cassis Lindsay set two: the 50 back (33.20) and 100 back (1:10.16).

Harvey rewrote the record books in the 400 free (5:30.80) and the 100 back (1:17.12).

Rennes Lindsay broke the 200 fly record at 2:41.73, Massie the 50 back at 35.94, and Luke Bakica the 200 breast at 2:51.34, in their respective age divisions.

“The hot weather did not distract our athletes, it all looked like they have recharged theirs batteries and swam best times,” said Bukszowana.

Contact Tom Patrick at