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Glacier Bears set PBs in Fairbanks

Five Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club members competed last weekend, going the extra yard - not the extra metre.

Five Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club members competed last weekend, going the extra yard - not the extra metre.

Racing in the Wishbone Invitational Swim Meet in Fairbanks, Alaska, the five swimmers set a total of 32 personal best times, producing five top-three finishes along the way.

“I was really impressed with how they all dug deep to race each race as best as they could,” said Glacier Bears coach Kathryn Zrum. “And that they had taken what they’ve been working on over the last several months and put it into practice. And when it was time to compete they rose to the occasion.

“Some (personal bests) were 10, 15 seconds faster, so that’s a big improvement.”

Being an American competition, the Glacier Bears swimmers had to adjust to the shorter 25-yard pool, as opposed to the 25-metre pool they usually train in. Despite the difference in lengths, personal best times were determined using a computer program that converts the times from yards into the time they would have produced in metres.

“They have a program called High Tech and it has a team manager aspect, and all the swimmers’ results are kept in that program,” said Zrum. “So when they swim in a yards pool, they take the short-course times and converts them into metre times.

“It’s not an exact science, but it’s pretty close to their realistic time.”

Returning with the strongest results for the Bears was Camille Saunders, racing in the 11-12 age group. Saunders took first in the 100-metre backstroke, fourth in the 200-metre freestyle and third in both the 50-metre fly and the 100-metre individual medley.

“Camille is one of our first year swimmers and is new to swimming in Whitehorse,” said Zrum. “In Alberta, she was a summer swimmer, so this is her first year in a winter club and she did fantastic. She’s really coming along nicely as a swimmer and she has great strokes, nice technique and she getting faster each meet.”

Teammate Jessica Bakica, in the same division, took fifth in the 200 free.

Competing in the 13-14 age group, Tynan Leong-Best finished third in the 200-metre breaststroke and fourth in the 50 free, while Nicole Wawryk had similar results with a third in the 100-metre butterfly and fourth in the 200 individual medley.

The youngest Bear there, Luke Bakica, racing in the 10-and-under group, cruised to fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 100 breast.

“Thanks to all the parents for getting the kids there and supporting them,” said Zrum. “We had really good parent support and that makes a difference, helps the kids have great success.”

Contact Tom Patrick at