Skip to content

Channel Cats impress at final provincial meets of the year (2 photos)

Local swimmers smash club records and earn medals at provincial championships

The Orillia Channel Cats Swim Club recently competed at two separate Long Course provincial-level meets. Eleven swimmers were in attendance from Orillia.

Age group provincials saw Hughie Edwards, Hayley French, Calum Kershaw, Grier Kershaw, Caleb Near, Owen Rosati, Maggie May Smith and Blythe Wieclawek compete against some of the fastest swimmers in Ontario. Amongst them was Kylie Masse who is the world record holder in the women’s long course 100 metre backstroke. The Cats raced to some personal best times and had some great placings. Caleb Near (15) advanced to the final in the 100 and 200 metre backstroke. Near won a bronze medal in the 100 backstroke (1:01.00) and placed 7th in the 200.

“Caleb made his second age group national time in the 200 backstroke and set a new club record in the 50 metre backstroke (28.14,)” said head coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards.

Blythe Wieclawek (13) placed 11th in the 50 metre freestyle and 16th in the 100 metre backstroke. Hayley French (13) placed 13th in the 200 metre butterfly just missing her best time. Carly Widmer, Megan Widmer, Flora Haslem and Chilyn Fenton competed at the AA Provincial meet and raced well.

Cats swimmers qualified for finals in a couple of their individual events, as well as placing fifth in the 200 medley relay. Fenton won a silver medal in the 400 metre freestyle and set a new 15 and over girls' long course club record (4:40.45)

“We had a great provincials to end the season for most of our swimmers,” added Thompson-Edwards.

Wieclawek and Near are still in the pool preparing for Canadian Junior Championships later this month in Winnipeg where both swimmers will be racing two events each.

Teammate Flora Haslem is competing in various open water competitions the remainder of the summer.