The presence of 15 Haines Dolphins swimmers did little to prevent Glacier Bears from breaking records and becoming aggregate winners at the Yukon Championships.
A total of six meet records and three club records were broken at the meet hosted by the Whitehorse club Friday and Saturday at the Canada Games Centre.
Causing the most breakage was Glacier Bear Joshua Kelly, who went on to be the boys’ 15-and-over aggregate winner.
For his age category, Kelly set meet records in the 200-metre breaststroke and the 100-metre individual medley (IM) – a personal best and new club record as well.
“The 200-breast is (surprising), but the 100-IM I can understand,” said Kelly. “I’m a better sprinter now because I have training more for sprints, and the 200-metre breaststroke, I haven’t been training for that race.”
Other record breaking Bears included Cassis Lindsay in the girls’ 10-and-under for the 200-metre IM and Haley Braga in the girls’ 13-14 division for the 200-metre butterfly. Both were also the aggregate winners for their divisions.
Getting two in one, Isabel Parkkari and Craig Berube each set a meet and club record. Parkkari, in girls’ 13-14, and Berube, in the boys’ 13-14, both set new times for the 100-metre IM.
Other aggregate winners include Rennes Lindsay in eight-and-under girls, Alexander Petriw in eight-and-under boys, Matthew Blakesley in 9-10 boys, Emily Crist in 11-12 girls, Adrian Robinson in 11-12 boys, and Kirsten Berube in 15-and-over girls.
Records were not the only thing to come to an end at the meet.
After more than a decade with the club, swimmer Alexandra Gabor, who has competed for Canada at the international level, swam her last race at home as a Glacier Bear.
“It’s bitter-sweet,” said Gabor. “I just wish I could have finished off a little bit quicker with best times. I know right now it’s a bit unrealistic to ask for, but it would have been nicer to go a bit faster.
“But I have all summer. It’s not like I’m not a Glacier Bear anymore. Deep down I will always be a Glacier Bear.”
Gabor, who is struggling with shoulder trouble and didn’t set any personal best times at the championships, is leaving the Bears after this summer to swim for Stanford University in California on a full scholarship.
“It’ll be a bit weird to swim in another pool,” she said, “especially in yards – it’s a completely different system. But I think it’ll be fun because it kind of gives me a fresh start in September. I don’t know what all the times mean.
“My personal bests in yards go all the way back to 2006, so I really hope I beat those.”
The championships also led to some movement on the Western Canada Summer Games front.
Glacier Bear Danika Nelson, 12, registered a fast enough time in the 50-metre freestyle to grab the final spot on Team Yukon for the girls’ contingent for the Western Games.
“Happy, proud,” said Nelson, when asked how she felt with her performance. “I felt good about it – it felt really good.”
Nelson will get to keep the spot on the team if her time is not surpassed by any Yukon girls in her division at a meet this weekend in Edmonton.
“Right now she’s on the team, but we have to wait for the final selection after next weekend at the meet in Edmonton,” said Poplawski. “If anyone does better than her time, it could change.”
Also currently holding spots on Team Yukon for the Westerns Games, taking place this August in Kamloops, are Parkkari and Rebecca Leslie for distance freestyle, Braga for sprint freestyle, Kirsten Berube for the IM, Erin McArthur for breaststroke, Taylor Campbell for backstroke, and Julia Fedoriak for sprint freestyle.
On the boys’ side three spaces remain. Currently on the roster are Kelly, Tynan Leong-Best and Sam Storey for sprint freestyle, Edouard Boucier for IM, and Kevin Salesse for distance freestyle.
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