Swimmers make the plunge at weekend’s Yukon Championships

Whitehorse Glacier Bears swimmer Selene Brown, 13, racing in the Yukon Championships mixed 400 SC meter freestyle event on April 24. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)Whitehorse Glacier Bears swimmer Selene Brown, 13, racing in the Yukon Championships mixed 400 SC meter freestyle event on April 24. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Swimmer Oliver Cull, 13, competes in the mixed 100 SC meter butterfly in Whitehorse on April 24. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)Swimmer Oliver Cull, 13, competes in the mixed 100 SC meter butterfly in Whitehorse on April 24. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
The Whitehorse Glacier Bears hosted the Yukon Championships at the Canada Games Centre pool. Swimmers prepare to start the race on April 24. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)The Whitehorse Glacier Bears hosted the Yukon Championships at the Canada Games Centre pool. Swimmers prepare to start the race on April 24. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

The Whitehorse Glacier Bears hosted the Yukon Championships April 23 and 24 at the Canada Games Centre pool.

In a year of uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Glacier Bears coach Carmen Escobar said it was a great accomplishment to get the Yukon Championships running.

“I’m very proud of the team,” said Escobar. “There was lots of stress regarding COVID-19. Yukon Champs was a goal of mine to hold, to offer an event to everyone.”

Throughout the swim season, beginning in November, Escobar said the club has been running time trials to allow the athletes to swim in a competitive setting.

The Yukon Champs, Escobar added, upped the competition atmosphere for everyone.

“They gave purpose and direction for what we have done this season,” said Escobar. “The idea was to unify the club.

“There was a high demand placed on racing expectations this season. This was the end of that road and it was incredibly successful.”

COVID-19 restrictions have limited other swim clubs’ ability to hold events. Escobar said she and other Glacier Bears members were thankful for the opportunity to have a pool to run events in.

The times posted by the swimmers were sanctioned.

“We faced new difficulties because of the pandemic, but we ran the Yukon Champs to meet standards,” said Escobar. “All the times counted and were ranked nationally. As long as we respected the COVID rules, times were sanctioned.”

Although the meet could not allow parents or spectators on the pool deck, Escobar said it was an eight-lane competition and had mostly the same atmosphere as a non-COVID meet.

“We tried to create the swim meet atmosphere,” said Escobar. “This had different experiences and we miss that atmosphere. Swimming has taken a hit everywhere. Right now it is a bittersweet type of experience.”

Despite the challenges, Escobar said the swimmers, young and old, put up solid performances.

“The older swimmers have been raising the standard over the year,” said Escobar. “For Yukon Champs, I put them in races they aren’t as confident in and they delivered so well. I’m very proud.

“The rest of the club did phenomenal also. The little ones dropped their times and the program really moved forward. They all really delivered results this year.”

The Yukon Champs marked the end of the year for most of the Glacier Bear swimmers; some will continue to the end of the school year.

Escobar said she still has a few more events planned before the summer break.

“I want to celebrate the end of the year with relay events,” said Escobar. “Relay is all about team. It is a combination of effort and focus that removes individual pressure.”

As well, Escobar said the competitive swimmers will be preparing for the virtual B.C. Provincials which will take place in July.

Medley Results

Girls 9-10 200 SC Meter IM (individual medley)

1) Sienna Thorburn, 4:20.67

2) River Powell, DQ

Girls 11-12 200 SC Meter IM

1) Sabine Keesey, 2:55.02

2) Katelyn Hirsch, 3:19.38

3) Erin Delaurier, 3:20.31

Girls 13-14 200 SC Meter IM

1) Kale Massie, 2:46.01

2) Melody Qiu, 2:51.36

3) Avery Kinsella, 2:57.14

Women 15 & Over 200 SC Meter IM

1) Hannah Kingscote, 2:23.26

2) Amelia Ford, 2:36.56

3) Brynna Lalonde, 2:53.50

Boys 9-10 200 SC Meter IM

1) Roy Oborne, 3:18.24

Boys 11-12 200 SC Meter IM

1) Hugh Stopps, 3:15.17

2) Will Sugden, 3:25.00

3) Quin Lalonde, 3:47.31

Boys 13-14 200 SC Meter IM

1) Oliver Cull, 2:46.54

2) Liam Gishler, 2:59.55

3) Corbin Jackson, DQ

Boys 15 & Over 200 SC Meter IM

1) Aidan Harvey, 2:19.03

2) Reese Jackson, 2:40.43

Mixed 200 SC Meter Medley Relay

1) Aidan Harvey, Thomas Bakica, Thomas Gishler, Alex Petriw, 1:53.39

2) Hannah Kingscote, Mia Barrault, Amelia Ford, Maddy Mead, 2:04.25

3) Sabine Keesey, Melody Qiu, Kale Massie, Avery Kinsella, 2:15.65

Contact John Tonin at john.tonin@yukon-news.com

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