Yukon swimmers clean up at Age Group Nationals

Eight medals in nine races is nothing to scoff at. Quite the opposite, and Alexandra Gabor’s and Bronwyn Pasloski’s performances last…

Eight medals in nine races is nothing to scoff at.

Quite the opposite, and Alexandra Gabor’s and Bronwyn Pasloski’s performances last weekend at the Age Group Nationals in Calgary affirms the Yukon as a powerhouse in the pool.

“I’m very happy,” said the girls’ coach, Marek Poplawski. “They did exceptionally well. They are becoming some of the top competitors in their age-group in Canada.”

Beating her personal best in the 400-metre freestyle by one second, Gabor, 15, took gold with a time of 4 minutes, 19.39 seconds — shaving more than eight seconds off her preliminary time.

In fact, Gabor medaled in all five of her events. She also took gold in the 200- and 800-metre freestyle, and brought home a silver in the 100 and bronze in the 50.

Pasloski, 16, also made it to the top step of the podium three times at the meet, taking gold in the 50-, 100- and 200-metre breaststroke. However, she still feels there’s room for improvement.

“It was OK, I didn’t have that good times,” said Pasloski, who did not set any personal bests in her races.

“But it was still really good.”

The only race Pasloski didn’t medal in was the 200-metre individual medley, which combines the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.

Pasloski finished fourth in the event, missing third by a quarter second.

“Kind of,” said Pasloski, when asked if she is happy with her fourth-place finish in the medley event. “It was pretty close. I was leading off first, but then I just didn’t have that good of a race … I know I can do better.

“I just haven’t been training at is as well — I’ve just been doing breaststroke,” explained Pasloski. “I totally forgot what it felt like to do all four strokes. It’s a completely different feeling, different muscles and everything.”

Pasloski and Gabor were joined in Calgary by teammates Brice Harding, Tanner Cassidy and Spencer Sumanik. However, the three boys failed to advance to any finals.

“They swam some good races, but didn’t qualify for any finals,” said Poplawski. “But I think it was a fantastic experience for them … Next time they will probably have higher goals at the competition.”

This weekend, Pasloski and Gabor are competing with 38 other Canadians at the Tri-Nations Cup in Quebec City, where they will be facing swimmers from Great Britain and France.

Despite their stellar performances last weekend, Poplawski isn’t going to make any medal-promises for the Tri-nations Cup.

“This meet … is 20-and-under, so there’s a lot of older swimmers,” said Poplawski. “They (will be up against) more experienced swimmers.”