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Channel Cats test their mettle against Canada's top swimmers

Caleb Near and Blythe Wieclawek are both ranked in the top 10 in their age group nationally; Duo shone at Calgary competition
Caleb Near and Blythe Wieclawek at Canadian Junior Championship in Calgary. Supplied photo

Blythe Wieclawek (14) and Caleb Near (17) recently competed at Canadian Junior Championships in Calgary at the Repsol Sport Centre. The top age group swimmers in Canada were in attendance.     

Wieclawek competed in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke as well as 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke in the time trials offered after the morning prelimary sessions.       

Wieclawek dropped time in 200 backstroke (2:28.38), 100 backstroke (1:07.29) and 200 freestyle (2:16.13) and set new long course club records in all three events.      

“Blythe advanced to finals in three events 100 backstroke placing 5th overall, 100 freestyle finishing 16th and 50 freestyle placing 12th,” says Coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards. “She had a great meet and was pretty pumped to be there.”   

Near (17) travelled to Calgary with other clubs from the Huronia Region as part of the Regional Tour Team. He was off his best time pace in his events, but isn’t letting that affect his desire to get back in the pool this September ready to train hard. Caleb competed in the 50 and 100 freestyle, as well as the 100 and 200 backstroke. 

“I didn’t perform as well as I had hoped, however the experience of competing on the Huronia Team was unique and I’m glad I was able to experience it,” says Near.

“This meet was a good learning experience for Caleb. I believe he has grown mentally and emotionally coming out of this competition and I am excited for the upcoming season,” added Thompson-Edwards.

Both Blythe and Caleb are currently ranked within the top 10 swimmers in their age group nationally in 50 metre backstroke, 100 metre backstroke (Near) and 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle (Wieclawek).