Records sunk at Yukon swim championships

Record books required alterations following the 2013 Yukon Championships Invitational Meet hosted by the Whitehorse Glacier Bears at the Canada Games Centre on Friday and Saturday. Two club records and eight meet records were set by Whitehorse swimmers.

Record books required alterations following the 2013 Yukon Championships Invitational Meet hosted by the Whitehorse Glacier Bears at the Canada Games Centre on Friday and Saturday.

Two club records and eight meet records were set by Whitehorse swimmers, plus three more achieved qualifying times that could lead to spots on Yukon’s swim team at the Canada Summer Games this August.

Glacier Bears’ Matthew Blakesley set his first club record swimming in the 50-metre butterfly with a time of 35.38 seconds.

The butterfly is his best stroke, said Blakesley, who was competing in the boys 11-12 division.

“I feel really proud of myself,” said Blakesley. “I’m astonished.

“My supportive teammates – they cheered me on in every single race I swam.”

Blakesley captured two first place and five second place finishes, including in the 50-metre butterfly. The 12-year-old also won silver in the 200-metre individual medley at the B.C. AA Short-Course Championships in February.

“I’ve been working really hard this year,” said Blakesley. “I wanted to get a lot better at swimming because I love it.”

Teammate Thomas Bakica was the other club record setter. Bakica rewrote the books in the 200-metre breaststroke for boys 10-and-under, completing the race in 3:34.68.

The 10-year-old broke his own record in the event and now holds two short-course records with the club, including in the 200-metre freestyle.

“It’s my best stroke,” said Bakica of the breaststroke. “It feels pretty good. I already broke the club record, so after you’ve broken your own time, you know you’ve broken the club record. So I was pretty excited that I did that.”

Bakica won a total of seven races and got his AA time in the 50-free, “which was a big accomplishment for me,” said Bakica. “Also in my 200 breast and 100 breast I have AA times … those AAs I got before the meet.”

He also set a meet record in the 100-metre breaststroke at 1:42.18.

“I think it was really fun,” said Bakica. “My coach (Shereen Hill) is really supportive and that’s the best thing: to have fun.”

Emerging powerhouse sisters Cassis Lindsay and Rennes Lindsay set four meet records between them.

Cassis, swimming in girls 11-12, set a meet record in the 100-metre breaststroke at 1:12.34 and in the 200-metre individual medley at 2:42.39.

Rennes, swimming in girls 10-and-under, broke a meet record in the 50-metre breaststroke at 44.49 seconds and in the 200-metre individual medley at 2:57.98.

Bakica’s older brother, Luke, set a meet record for boys 11-12, completing the 200-metre individual medley in 2:49.95.

Glacier Bears’ Aidan Harvey finished the 200-metre breaststroke in 3:08.68 for a new meet record in boys 10-and-under.

Adrian Robinson, the oldest swimmer to set a meet record, swam the 100-metre breaststroke in 1:18.85 for a boys 13-14 record.

Three Glacier Bears are officially in the running to make Team Yukon for the Canada Games this summer in Quebec. To be eligible for the team the swimmers had to post times that match the 14-year-old AA standard.

Making the standard were Emily Crist in the 50-metre freestyle, Taylor Harvey in the 50-metre backstroke and Isabel Parkkari in the 800-metre freestyle and the 100-metre breaststroke.

“The qualifying standard is the first step, and then they get nominated to the team,” said Glacier Bears head coach Stephanie Dixon. “They’ll officially announce the team this week or next week and then (others will) have three last-chance meets to make it. The official team will be announced, and then for any of the empty spots they’ll get last-chance meets to fill it.”

Rennes Lindsay also reached the Games team standard, but she is too young to go to these upcoming Canada Games.

“But she won’t be going because she’s so little,” said Dixon. “But it was a great accomplishment just to qualify.”

About 100 Glacier Bears and seven from Alaska’s Haines Dolphins Swim Team took part in the championships.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com