Glacier Bears get top 10 results against country’s best

About 1,500 of the best age-group swimmers the country has to offer were in Winnipeg, Manitoba, last weekend for the Canadian Age Group Nationals, wrapping up on Monday.

About 1,500 of the best age-group swimmers the country has to offer were in Winnipeg, Manitoba, last weekend for the Canadian Age Group Nationals, wrapping up on Monday.

However, despite the fierce competition, all three Whitehorse Glacier Bears took in multiple top-10 finishes.

“It’s not bad – all three finished in the top-10,” said Glacier bears head coach Marek Poplawski. “All three of them did fantastic work.”

Competing in her second Age Group Nationals, Whitehorse’s Isabel Parkkari produced strong freestyle performances in the 13-year-old girls category, coming fifth in the 800-metre and sixth in the 1,500-metre. She also came 25th and 26th in the 100-metre butterfly and the 400-metre individual medley.

In the same age-class teammate Haley Braga also had her best results in freestyle events, coming eighth in the 400-metre and 10th in the 800-metre.

“That is her stronger event,” said Poplawski of the 800-metre. “She was also sixth in the 1500 free. So those two races were really good.

“Just being in the final is a big deal.”

Braga also placed 13th in the 200-metre freestyle, 21st in the 100-metre freestyle and 23rd in the 200-metre backstroke.

Swimming in the 12-year-old girls category, Erin McArthur narrowly missed reaching two finals (top-eight), coming ninth in the 50-metre breaststroke and 10th in the 50-metre backstroke. Competing with a full schedule, McArthur also finished 19th in the 200-metre breaststroke, 21st in the 100-metre breaststroke, 25th in the 50-metre freestyle, 30th in the 100-metre freestyle and 34th in the 200-metre individual medley.

“Erin just missed the finals in the 50 breast and the 50 back, placing ninth and 10th respectively against the best in the country,” said Poplawski.

Parkkari and Braga finished their stay with a couple additional top-10 finishes in the 5000-metre open water event, with the former taking fifth and the later taking 10th.

“We don’t have much practice in there, that’s for sure,” said Poplawski, referring Yukoner’s limited access to bearable open waters. “That was just extra fun for them.”

Glacier Bears Alex Gabor and Bronwyn Pasloski are currently in Victoria, BC, for the Summer Nationals Championships. At the time of press, Gabor had secured a fifth-place finish in the 200-metre freestyle, qualifying her for Canada’s relay team at the Pan Pacific Championships next month.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com