Glacier Bears rake in achievements in Victoria

Christmas came early for the Whitehorse Glacier Bears swim team over the weekend.

Christmas came early for the Whitehorse Glacier Bears swim team over the weekend.

Glacier Bears set personal bests, achieved AA, AAA and national qualifying times, made 17 A finals, won two medals and set a club record at the Xmas Cracker Invitational Swim Meet in Victoria, B.C.

“All Whitehorse swimmers, after working on their underwater fly kick for more than a year, began to put this skill into racing,” said Glacier Bears head coach Malwina Bukszowana in a news release. “Clearly this weekend most of Whitehorse Glacier Bears were very efficient off each wall, beating their opponents from the lanes by their sides by at least half of the body length. It was a pleasure for Whitehorse coaches to watch the effort our swimmers put in, that pays off now.”

Glacier Bears’ Rennes Lindsay checked a lot off her to-do list. Lindsay won bronze medals in the 100-metre freestyle and the 50-metre freestyle in girls 12-and-under. She placed fourth in the 200-metre freestyle and the 400-metre freestyle, took sixth in the 200-metre individual medley, seventh in the 100-metre backstroke and eighth in the 100-metre breaststroke.

Lindsay also set her third and fourth national standard times, in the 200 and 400 free, qualifying her to compete at Swimming Canada’s Age Group Nationals next summer in Quebec City.

It is her first time qualifying for the national event, which requires a minimum of three national qualifying times. She was one short last year.

“I think I’ve improved a lot since the Kamloops Classic Invitational Meet (in May) thanks to Malwina, our coach. She gave me lots of feedback after my races,” said Rennes, who also set a B.C. AAA time in the 50-metre butterfly. “I broke all my times at least once, some in heats and some in finals. It went really well.”

Older sister Cassis Lindsay, swimming in girls 13-14, set a Glacier Bears club record in the 200 back, twice. She set a club record of 2:26.24 in heats and then improved that to 2:25.76 while placing fourth in the A final.

“I’ve actually been afraid to swim that 200 back because I had a really bad experience earlier this year,” said Cassis. “I was really tired and completely failed, and came in dead last.

“But I decided to give it a try, to give it my all, and I ended up making a club record and I’m very, very proud of it.”

Cassis also placed fourth in the 100 back, fifth in the 50 free, seventh in the 100 free and made B finals in the 200 free and 100 fly.

Glacier Bear Hannah Kingscote had a productive stay in Victoria. Kingscote set B.C. AAA times in the 100 back (placing fifth), the 200 back (placing eighth), and the 50 fly, in girls 12-and-under. She also made four B finals.

“It was really fun and exciting, and all my swims were good and I think everyone else’s swims went good,” said Kingscote. “It was exciting. I made AAAs in most of my best swims. They were personal bests – I had personal bests in almost all my swims and took off a lot of time.”

Other top Whitehorse results include: Brooklyn Massie making B.C. AA times in the 50 free, 100 back and 800 free, in which she placed eighth.

Aidan Harvey set a B.C. AA in the 200 back and placed eighth in the 200 breast.

Thomas Bakica made a AA in 200 breast and reached four B finals; Luke Bakica

made a AA in the 100 breast and 200 breast, placing eighth in the latter; Dannica Nelson reached AAs in the 100 breast and 200 breast; and Alex Petriw placed eighth in the 800 free.

“(We had) very impressive swims had Ruby Lieu-Ashthorn, our only 10-year-old swimmer,” said Bukszowana. “Ella Pollock, Emma Boyd, Liam Diamond, took off a lot of times and achieved best times in almost every race, holding better strokes. As well as the oldest swimmers from the club: Cassidy Cairns, Donovan Bielz, Caelon Workman, Rebecca Koser, Taylor Harvey, Meghan Pennington.”

A total of 19 Glacier Bears members attended the meet that saw 800 swimmers take to the water. Every Whitehorse swimmer set a personal best time.

“It was really cool, we had a really big team this year,” said Kingscote. “I think all of us had a lot of fun swimming and a lot of us did really, really well. Lots of personal bests, lots of people made finals. It was just lots of fun.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

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