Two Whitehorse swimmers have finished the Glacier Bears season with a bang.
Speedy sisters Cassis and Rennes Lindsay captured three medals and broke club records 10 times at the 2013 Swim B.C. AAA Long Course Championships at the UBC Aquatic Centre in Vancouver on Saturday.
The two sisters have tremendous dedication to their sport, said Glacier Bears head coach Stephanie Dixon.
“They are very passionate about what they do; this is something they really want to excel in,” said Dixon. “They come to the pool ready to do their best, day in and day out. It’s not about being social or being fit, they really want to do best times and improve and they’re willing to do what it takes to get there every single day.”
Cassis, who was competing in the 12-year-old girls division, won silver in the 100-metre freestyle and bronze in the 50-metre freestyle.
She also broke Glacier Bears long course records three times. She set the 100-metre backstroke record in the preliminaries (1:16.12) and again in the final (1:15.48) on her way to fifth. The 12-year-old also set the club’s 50-metre backstroke record with a split time of 36.83 seconds in the 100-metre event.
“Cassis has missed a bunch of training in the last two months – she was away on a school trip, she had an eye infection,” said Dixon. “So I wasn’t too sure what to expect out of her here. She knew her training wasn’t where it needed to be because of those circumstances, and she didn’t let that be an excuse, she just did the best she could and ended up doing fantastic. It goes to show what a great attitude can get you.”
Cassis, who made finals in all six of her events, also came sixth in 200-metre individual medley, seventh in 200-metre backstroke and eighth in 200-metre freestyle.
Cassis is one of eight Yukon swimmers who will be competing at the Canada Summer Games next month in Sherbrooke, Que.
She won three medals in the 11-and-under division at last year’s B.C. AAA Long Course Championships. She also won gold in the 100-metre freestyle, silver in the 50-metre freestyle and bronze in the 200-metre backstroke at the short course AAAs in March.
Rennes, a 10-year-old swimming in the 11-and-under division, claimed silver in the 400-metre individual medley. After setting a club record in the prelims at 6:06.55, she broke it again in the final at 5:57.60, shaving a huge 42.87 seconds off her qualifying time.
That time puts Rennes at number one in Canada for the event in the 10-year-old girls division.
“I wasn’t expecting her to take off that (42.87) seconds to win that silver medal,” said Dixon. “That was quite exciting.
“Rennes is extremely coachable. I’ve worked with her in the past week and when I asked her to change something, I see it immediately.”
Rennes broke Glacier Bear records seven times including twice in the 200-metre butterfly, finishing the final in 2:56.51 for seventh. That time puts her second in Canada for 10-year-old girls this season.
The B.C. AAAs also marked Dixon’s final meet as head coach of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears after two seasons. She will, however, be coaching the territory’s swimmers at the Canada Games next month.
“It’s a fantastic note to leave the club on,” said Dixon. “I’m going to the Canada Games, but that’s not Glacier Bears, that’s Swim Yukon.
“It was awesome. I was ready to sign up for another year because I feel like I learned a lot.”
Dixon, who is one of the most decorated Paralympians of all time, has taken a job with Canada’s Paralympic Committee.
“I’m very excited about my new job, but very sad to say goodbye to a great club and a great situation I’m in,” said Dixon. “But I plan to stay in Whitehorse and help out with the club as much as I can.”
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