It is not difficult to gauge the growing success of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club.
Other than the ubiquitous newspaper articles about Bronwyn Pasloski, Alexandra Gabor and other top Bears, the sheer number of members in the club suggests the sport’s depth in the Yukon.
On Saturday, 109 Whitehorse Glacier Bears took to the water for the Yukon Invitational Swim Meet held at the Canada Games Centre. The Bears also played host to seven visiting swimmers from Fairbanks, Alaska, and one from Juneau.
Three club records and 26 meet records were set at the event, including seven by the Alaskans.
“What that means is the meet was good—the kids did really well,” said Glacier Bears head coach Marek Poplawski. “The swimmers preparing for AA or AAA or higher will continue competing in June, so this meet is to see what they accomplished in the year.”
“It’s been a while since we’ve had swimmers from Fairbanks, so this is good,” said Mike McArthur, meet manager and treasury of the Glacier Bears Swim Club. “The community support has been great.”
In the last two years, the Bears club has almost doubled in size, rising to 130 today from about 70.
“I think it’s the success of the program and word of mouth,” said McArthur. “We have some great coaches and have had some great meets—we’ve had success nationally. So I think that’s helped.
“We have half a dozen swimmers with national times, and that’s phenomenal for a club our size. The results we have at the national level—AA and AAA—we’re really proud of.”
After months of competing throughout Canada and the world, both Gabor and Pasloski were present for the meet, having just returned from the Mel Zajac International Swim Meet, where Gabor set a Canadian age group record in the 200-metre freestyle.
“It’s just a lot of fun to be at home and to be with my team,” said Pasloski. “The kids don’t (usually) get to see how we race and they’re kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ And it motivates them to go harder.
“Most of the new members are young kids—there’s so many young kids and you can tell they really enjoy it.”
Adding to the aquatic festivities, on Sunday, Swim Yukon announced the swim team that will be representing the Yukon at the Canada Summer Games this August in PEI.
In the boys’ events, the territory will be represented by Jason Zrum, Spencer Sumanik, Brice Harding, Connor Cassidy, Geoffroi Bourcier, Felix Bouchard and Joshua Kelly.
Making the cross-country trip for the girls will be Erin Oliver-Beebe, Hayley Bielz, Kirsten Berube, Kate McArthur, Molly Purser, Taylor Campbell, Julia Fedoriak and national junior team member Alexandra Gabor.
“In the Canada Games it’s just two swimmers per event,” said Poplawski. “So it was based on who was the best in those events in the meet. Some swimmers were maybe good in one event, but there were two swimmers that were faster so they didn’t make the team.”
As a nationally carded athlete, Pasloski is not eligible to compete at the Summer Games.
Individual aggregate scores
1st Mini C. O’Donoghue (Stingray Swim Team) – 60 points
2nd Cassis Lindsay (Glacier Bears) – 56 points
3rd Rennes Lindsay (Glacier Bears) – 44 points
1st Liam Mather (Glacier Bears) – 68 points
2nd Matthew Blakesley (Glacier Bears) – 47 points
3rd Luke Bakica (Glacier Bears) – 38 points
1st Dannica Nelson (Glacier Bears) – 70 points
2nd Zoe Bourget (Glacier Bears) – 52 points
3rd Sruthi Tadepalli (Glacier Bears) – 51 points
1st Tristan R. O’Donoghue (Stingray Swim Team) – 63 points
1st Esteban Engasser (Glacier Bears) – 63 points
3rd Benjamin Janzen (Glacier Bears) – 58 points
1st Isabel Parkkari (Glacier Bears) – 72 points
2nd Haley Braga (Glacier Bears) – 64 points
3rd Erin McArthur (Glacier Bears) – 61 points
1st Craig Berube (Glacier Bears) – 68 points
2nd Tommy M. O’Donoghue (Stingray Swim Team) – 64 points
3rd Christopher Ritchie (Glacier Bears) – 51 points
1st Kirsten Berube (Glacier Bears) – 66 points
2nd Erin Oliver-Beebe (Glacier Bears) – 61 points
3rd Taylor Campbell (Glacier Bears) – 56 points
1st Calvin Walsh (Juneau) – 70 points
2nd Edouard Bourcier (Glacier Bears) – 64 points
3rd Kevin Salesse (Glacier Bears) – 52 points
1st Bronwyn Pasloski (Glacier Bears) – 68 points
2nd Kate McArthur (Glacier Bears) – 50 points
2nd Julia Fedoriak (Glacier Bears) – 50 points
1st Brice Harding (Glacier Bears) – 63 points
2nd Spencer Sumanik (Glacier Bears) – 56 points
3rd Joshua Kelly (Glacier Bears) – 56 points
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