Team BC had a little help from its northern neighbour at the annual Pacific Coast All Star meet in Gresham, Oregon last weekend.
Breaking into the top-eight twice, and helping propel Team BC to a fourth-place finish behind the Pacific Northwest Swimming Club, was Whitehorse Glacier Bears swimmer Erin McArthur, competing in her first international event.
“It was really different – I’ve never swam with American swimmers before,” said McArthur. “I met a lot of people from BC and it was really good. It was just a really good experience and a lot of fun.
“Interacting with different people, that was the best part for me.”
At the meet, McArthur, who is ranked No. 2 in both BC and Canada for the 100-metre breaststroke in the girls’ 12-and-under category, took sixth in the 50-metre and seventh in the 100-metre breaststroke events. She also came 16th in the 50-metre backstroke, 18th in the 50-metre butterfly and 19th in the 100-metre butterfly.
“It made me work a little harder to try and get good times, to get points for the BC team,” said McArthur. “But I kind of looked at it as a normal meet when I swam. I didn’t want to get afraid.”
McArthur is only the fourth Glacier Bear swimmer to attend the meet as a member of Team BC, following in the footsteps of Bronwyn Pasloski and Alexandra Gabor, two of the most accomplished swimmers to come out of Whitehorse, and Haley Braga, who is currently ranked fourth in BC in the 400-metre freestyle for the 13-year-old girls’ division. (Currently, Pasloski is competing for NCAA school University of Indiana while Gabor, who just returned from competing at the World Aquatic Championships in Dubai last month, has agreed to attend and swim for Stanford University starting next school year.)
“I’m thinking I want to keep going in swimming and get to their level, and accomplish things that they did,” said McArthur. “I’m pretty happy about it.”
The soon-to-be 13-year-old, who celebrates a birthday on Friday, qualified for the event at the Christmas Cracker swim meet last month in Victoria, finishing first in the 100-metre breaststroke and third in both the 200- and 50-metre events. Although uncertain if she will attend, McArthur, along with Glacier Bear teammates Braga and Isabel Parkkari, also qualified for the Western Canadian Championships next month in Kamloops, BC, while at the Victoria event.
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