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Channel Cat swims to personal bests at Toronto event

Blythe Wieclawek, 14, one-ups herself in three disciplines

Orillia Channel Cats Swim Club member Blythe Wieclawek, 14, recently attended Ontario Junior International Meet held at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Scarborough. This was Wieclawek’s first time qualifying for the competition that has some of the fastest Junior swimmers, 18 years and under, in attendance.

“The age category for this competition is 18 and under. Blythe, being 14, is at the younger end of the competitors and she did quite well," said her coach, Meredith Thompson-Edwards.

Wieclawek raced personal best times in the 100-metre backstroke (1:04.16), 200-metre backstroke (2:22.20) and 50-metre butterfly (28.37). Blythe qualified for the B final in the 50-metre butterfly, and placed 17th overall.

“We were not expecting a final at all this competition, and were pleasantly surprised when we found out she got in," said Thompson-Edwards.

Wieclawek also set new club records in the above-mentioned events.

During the same weekend, three Channel Cat members attended the Ontario Junior International Clinic hosted by Swim Ontario. Swimmers 12 and under had to make the qualifying standard in order to participate. Indiana Abram, Hyden Nie and Adair Wieclawek participated in the clinic.

Swimmers learned some new drills, some tips for faster starts and they had the opportunity to hear former Olympian Heather MacLean speak about mind training for swimmers.

“It was a very positive experience for the swimmers, and they definitely learned something new," said Thompson-Edwards.