Glacier Bears set BC records in Montreal

Pretty soon BC's swimming governing body will want to distance itself from the Yukon -- we keep breaking their records! Competing at the World Championship Trials/Senior Nationals meet in Montreal, two Whitehorse Glacier Bears

Pretty soon BC’s swimming governing body will want to distance itself from the Yukon—we keep breaking their records!

Competing at the World Championship Trials/Senior Nationals meet in Montreal, two Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club members broke four BC records, for girls ages 15 through 17. (Yukon swimmers are included in Swim BC’s records.)

“They both swam best times and as a coach you can’t ask for better than that,” said Glacier Bears head coach Marek Poplawski. “(Standings) depend on how others are swimming—you never know. They can be first, second or third.

“But producing best times is always a good feeling. I’m really happy with how they did.”

In the final days of the meet over the weekend, Glacier Bear Alexandra Gabor, 16, took first in the B finals (ninth overall) for the 50-metre free, setting a new BC record with a time of 26.45 seconds. The original record was set by former Olympian Andrea Moody at the 1995 Pan American Games.

In another B final, for the 100-metre freestyle, Gabor set a BC record with a second-place performance (10th overall). Gabor finished the event qualifying for the 400-metre freestyle final in first and finished the event in fifth.

“Of course those swimmers are 400-metre freestyle specialists, and she is not,” said Poplawski.

Teammate Bronwyn Paslowski, 17, set a BC record with a fifth-place finish in the 100-metre breaststroke over the weekend. Earlier in the meet she finished eighth in the 200-metre breaststroke fourth in the 50-metre breaststroke.

Gabor began the meet setting a high-water mark for the entire Glacier Bears Swim Club by qualifying for two races at the World Aquatic Championships in Rome, Italy at the end of the month as a member of the national senior team. Giving her the spot on the team was a silver-medal, BC-record performance in the 200-metre freestyle. She finished behind Toronto’s Heather MacLean, who set a national record in the race. Gabor also produced a personal best time, coming in at 1:58.7, down from 1:59.5. She will also compete in the 4×200-metre freestyle relay at the Worlds.

“It was really exciting, to say the least,” said Gabor, the day after the 200 free. “It’s something I wanted to get since last summer. I definitely worked hard in practice and it paid off.”

A similar honour was bestowed upon her coach. For his work with the Glacier Bears Poplawski was selected as a coach for the national team heading to Rome. Unfortunately, due to commitments with the Glacier Bears, Poplawski had to decline the offer.

“We couldn’t reach any compromise so I had to decline,” said Poplawski.

Pasloski is currently still in Montreal preparing for the Age Group Nationals where she will be joined by Glacier Bears teammate Isabel Parkkari, who qualified for the event just over a week ago at the BC AAA Long Course Championships in Victoria, BC. At the AAAs Parkkari, 12, won silver in the 800-metre freestyle and bronze in the 400-metre freestyle.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com