Parkkari rakes in hardware at Keyano

Whitehorse Glacier Bear Isabel Parkkari has outdone herself. At last year's Edmonton Keyano International, half of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears' four medals came from Parkkari, with a bronze and a silver.

Whitehorse Glacier Bear Isabel Parkkari has outdone herself.

At last year’s Edmonton Keyano International, half of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears’ four medals came from Parkkari, with a bronze and a silver.

At this year’s 31st annual Keyano, the 14-year-old more than doubled those results, winning five of the Whitehorse club’s six medals in Edmonton over the weekend.

“I’m pretty proud of myself,” said Parkkari. “I had a lot of good races.”

Swimming in the girls 13-14 division, Parkkari won silver in the 800-metre freestyle, 400- and 200-metre individual medleys (IM). She also took bronze in the 400 and 200 free.

“Those were good times and good placings, and I felt good swimming them,” said Parkkari of her bronzes.

In fact, Parkkari came fourth in the 1,500 free in the open category. Had age-divisions been applied to the results, she would have taken a bronze there too.

Parkkari also set two club records, breaking the 400 IM record twice.

“I like swimming IMs and those were good swims and good times,” said Parkkari.

Winning the Bears’ sixth medal was teammate Haley Braga, taking bronze in the 200-metre butterfly in girls 13-14.

“That was a fantastic race,” said head coach Marek Poplawski. “The 200 fly, the 200 free – she likes to swim those events.”

Braga, who won a bronze at last year’s Keyano, also came seventh in the 200 free and eighth in the 400 free and 800 free, setting three club records along the way.

Whitehorse’s Joshua Kelly, swimming in boys 15-and-over, failed to reach the top-10, but still cracked the record book. Among such finishes as 12th in the 100-metre breaststroke and 27th in the 100 free, Kelly set four Glacier Bears club records. Just the weekend before, at the Yukon Championships, Kelly set two meet records and a club record.

“He’s getting ready for the Canada Western Games, so he’s working out more than at the beginning of the season,” said Poplawski. “He’s coming up and getting better and better.”

Another Glacier Bear to excel in the girls’ 13-14 division was Erin McArthur, coming ninth in the 100 breast, 10th in the 200 breast and 16th in the 50 free. (McArthur won Whitehorse’s fourth medal at last year’s Keyano.)

Other top results from Bears in girls 13-14 include Taylor Campbell coming 12th in the 400 free and 27th in the 200-metre backstroke, Kirsten Berube coming 16th in the 400 IM and 50 free, and Danielle Smith taking 26th in the 800 free and 34th in the 200 back. Teammate Megan Cumming came 35th in the 200 breast for the same division.

In boys 13-14, Sam Storey was 14th in the 200 breast, 20th in the 400 free and 21st at the 50 free while Gavin Young grabbed 18th in the 200 back, 22nd in the 400 free and 23rd in the 50 free.

For the older groups, Rebecca Leslie was 21st in the 200 breast and 25th in the 100 breast for girls 15-and-over.

Kevin Sallesse, in boys 15-and-over, was 24th in the 200 breast.

“(Parkkari) was definitely the No. 1 swimmer from our team, but they all did very well,” said Poplawski. “That was our first long-course swim of the season for us – so the 50-metre pool. So some of them were using this to get ready for the next meets coming up – the AA and AAA championships, age-group nationals, and at the end of the season the Western Canada Games.

“I think it was an excellent meet at the time of the year, and the time of training, so I’m very pleased with these results.”

Parkkari, Braga, Berube and Campbell also teamed up for the Glacier Bears’ best relay finish – only top-10 finish – taking seventh in the 800 free for girls 15-and-over.

Contact Tom Patrick at

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