Glacier Bears hit the pool in Edmonton

When it comes to swimming pools, size matters. Competing at the 30th Annual Edmonton Keyano International over the weekend, members of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears had to rely more on lengths than on the turns.

When it comes to swimming pools, size matters.

Competing at the 30th Annual Edmonton Keyano International over the weekend, members of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears had to rely more on lengths than on the turns. That’s because the meet took place in a 50-metre pool, compared to the 25-metre pool the Bears use at the Whitehorse Lions Aquatic Centre.

“Basically it affects your turns,” said Glacier Bear Josh Kelly. “Personally I’m better on turns than I am swimming lengths—that’s where I usually catch people. It’s also a very different pace. In a 25-metre pool, which is our size, we can sprint shorter laps and do the foot turn. In a longer pool you have to go the whole distance.”

Despite favouring the shorter length of pool, Kelly returned home with three medals in the boys’ 13-14 age group.

In the 200-metre breaststroke and the 50-metre freestyle events he won bronze, but logged his best result in the 100-metre breaststroke, winning silver and shaving a full second off his personal best.

He produced personal best in three other events, as well. Since he prefers the shorter pools, he had no explanation for all his success.

“I’m not used to swimming in that pool,” said Kelly. “I haven’t swam in a 50-metre pool in a year.”

Kelly was not the only Glacier Bear to bring home hardware.

Teammate Kirsten Berube brought the medal count to four with a bronze in the 50-metre freestyle in the girls’ 13-14 division. She also took sixth in the 100-metre breaststroke and seventh in the 400-metre freestyle.

Another Glacier Bear success story was Haley Braga, who achieved a AAA time in the 100-metre freestyle girls 12-and-under event, finishing eighth. Also, Spencer Sumanik grabbed seventh in the 200-metre butterfly and eighth in the 100-metre backstroke in the 15-and-over division. Sumanik’s seventh and eighth place finishes were matched by Craig Berube, 12, finishing with the same results in the 400-metre individual medley and in the 50-metre freestyle.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com