Glacier Bears excel at B.C. AAs

The Whitehorse Glacier Bears are all so good at launching off the walls in turns, but it isn't really evident until you see them race against other teams, says head coach Malwina Bukszowana.

The Whitehorse Glacier Bears are all so good at launching off the walls in turns, but it isn’t really evident until you see them race against other teams, says head coach Malwina Bukszowana.

“Swimmers continue to prove that they are getting very good under the water off the walls. They gain a lot on every turn and we cannot see it at home because all of them are good at it, we cannot compare it in Whitehorse,” she said in a news release.

Five members of the Whitehorse swim club were launching off the walls and scooping up strong results at the B.C. AA Long Course Championships over the weekend in Kamloops.

They won two medals, made 18 finals and set seven club records.

Cassidy Cairns barely qualified for the championship and turned out to be one of the two Whitehorse medalists. Swimming in the girls 12 to 13 category, Cairns won silver in the 100-metre breaststroke, cutting five seconds off her personal best.

“A great surprise was Cassidy Cairns,” said Bukszowana. “Cassidy swam very smart, being patient and holding long and strong stroke. Breastroke is all about details, it is very technical stroke, so every little mistake makes a difference and creates more resistance.”

Cairns also placed sixth in the 100-metre freestyle and made the B final in the 50 free.

Whitehorse’s other medalist was Thomas Bakica, capturing the bronze in the 200 breast. He also placed fourth in the 100 breast and the 400-metre individual medley, and placed seventh in the 200 IM and the 1,500 free, leaving club records in his wake. The 12-year-old set a total of seven club records for his age group, including two in his split times.

“(The breaststroke is) his favourite stroke and he is getting very good technically,” said Bukszowana. “Thomas is recently working on straight line, to minimize the friction in every stroke he takes, which pays off quite well. Same as Cassidy, Thomas was very patient, he was holding the line well and he breaks the WGB club record.”

Teammate Brooklyn Massie sped to five A finals in Kamloops. The 12-year-old placed fifth in the 200 free, seventh in the 200 backstroke and 100 back, and sixth in the 800 free.

In the 200 free, “she had each 50 metre goal time written down on her leg and she swam exactly the time she was aiming for. It was very smart,” said Bukszowana. “She qualified to the final. All eight girls were separate only within one second. It was very even. Brook likes racing so the conditions were perfect for her.”

Glacier Bears’ Aidan Harvey, 13, was edged out of a medal in the 200 back, taking fourth. He also took fifth in the 100 back and ninth in the 1,500 free.

“In the 1,500 free Aidan swam only two

seconds slower than Thomas Bakica,” said Bukszowana. “He had very good start and he kept the pace really well, leading ahead of his Glacier Bears teammate until the 1,000-metre mark. Thomas just had a better finish, but Aidan swam strong for entire race.”

Whitehorse’s Luke Bakica notched a seventh place finish in the 200 breast and an eighth place finish in the 200 IM.

Contact Tom Patrick at

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