Glacier Bears in the pool and the record book

Swim season has only just begun and the Glacier Bears are breaking records and setting qualifying times.

Swim season has only just begun and the Glacier Bears are breaking records and setting qualifying times.

Members of the Whitehorse swim club did a lot of both at the season-opening Ryan Downing Memorial Swim Meet on Friday and Saturday at the Canada Games Centre.

A total of 15 meet records – oddly, the same amount as last year – and three club records were set at the meet that saw 105 swimmers take part, including eight from N.W.T.‘s Inuvik Muskrats and 19 from Alaska’s Haines.

“Generally the WGB club is doing very well so far this season,” said Glacier Bears head coach Malwina Bukszowana. “We have a lot of AA B.C. Provincial Championships qualifiers already, and still a few swim meets that opens us more chances to improve.”

The Lindsay sisters, who seem to set records every time they enter the water, each set two meet records. Cassis Lindsay swam the 50-metre backstroke at 32.35 seconds for a girls 15-18 record. She then did the 200-metre individual medley in 2:30.41 for a meet record and then broke it in the final with 2:30.28.

Younger sister Rennes set a meet record in the 200 IM at 2:31.49 and the 400 free at 4:48.64, for girls 13-14.

“From older girls, as usual Lindsay sisters are the best in Yukon so far,” said Bukszowana. “Rennes had an amazing 1500 free, she likes the long distance. Rennes has already six qualifying times for Age Group Nationals for the coming summer. Her older sister Cassis improved her best time in 50 free again.”

Up-and-comer Thomas Gishler, swimming in boys 10-and-under, made the most amendments to the records book. The Glacier Bear set a meet record in the 200 backstroke at 3:18.78, another in the 400 free at 6:32.66, and another in the 50 butterfly at 41.11, which was also a club record.

“Thomas Gishler from Polar Bears is doing well, breaking the records of swimmers from older squads and making his first qualifying times for provincial championships,” said Bukszowana.

Hot off of setting two club records at a time trial the previous week, Whitehorse’s Thomas Bakica set two meet records in one race for boys 11-12. He swam the 50 fly in 36.20, in a split from the 200 IM, and finished the race in a record 2:46.76.

In the same division Glacier Bears teammate Alex Petriw set a meet record of 5:20.07 in the 400 free. He also posted a time of 2:26.34 in the 200 free to set a meet and club record in the event.

“Alex already qualified for AA championships, so now with no pressure he can focus on improving his skills,” said Bukszowana.

Glacier Bears’ Adrian Robinson made a triumphant return to the pool. The 15-year-old set a meet record in the 100 breaststroke at 1:14.88 and then a meet/club record in the 100 IM at 1:04.85, for boys 15-18.

“Adrian Robinson is back on track after his break and the recovery from an injury,” said Bukszowana. “He slowly began to improve his endurance, speed and his best times are new club and meet records. All Glacier Bears kids like to have him back, he is polite, funny and likes to work, special during our sprint sets.”

Other meet records include Mael Pronovost swimming the 50 fly in 30.01 in boys 13-14 and Luke Bakica posting a time of 2:47.77 in the 200 breast from boys 15-18.

As usual, Bukszowana had good things to say about all her swimmers.

“We have some new and young stars growing in the club,” she said. “Eight-year-old Simon Connell is a great listener and thinker in practice … Misa Svoboda is a very keen to work hard – this boy just wants to race every time in practice …

“Eleven-year-old Cooper Muir is also improving a lot … His breaststroke is looking very good …

“Brynna Lalonde won in almost all her events in 9-10 years old age group category …

“Boyd Emma is improving her technique and her times, she was at the top of her 11-12 years old age group last weekend … Amelia Ford is showing her sprinting potential … Kassua Dryer is also working well and we can see her improvement.

“Hannah Kingscote … has high goals this season and she is not afraid to push herself in practice.

“We had a nice surprise in 400 IM when Brook Massie swam her best time and Meghan Pennington, who was afraid to swim it for the first time, missed her provincial AA qualifying time only by milliseconds …

“New in my squad is Ella Pollock Shepherd. This girl might be a surprise this season.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

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