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Local swimmer breaks club records, excels in international field

Near had personal bests and broke club records in four out of five events at the meet
OJI (2)
Caleb Near is shown with coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards after a successful competition in Scarborough. Submitted photo

Orillia Channel Cats Swim Club member, 16-year-old Caleb Near, recently competed at The Ontario Junior International (OJI) Swim Meet held at the Scarborough Pan Am Centre.

Swimmers had to qualify in order to compete at the meet.

“This was the first year our club sent a swimmer to OJI,” said coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards. “Caleb had an awesome meet with 100 per cent personal best times and in four out of five events, he broke club records.”

Near set new short-course records in the Male 15 & over 200 freestyle (1:58.02), 50 backstroke (26.79), 100 backstroke (57.95) and 200 backstroke (2:09.45).

Near just missed out on a spot in finals in the 50-metre backstroke, placing 18th overall, as top 16 advance to finals.

There were swimmers from Japan, Scotland, England and all over Canada in attendance.

“This was a great experience for Caleb to compete against some very tough competition and for myself as a coach to be there for support and guidance to keep it all in perspective,” said Thompson-Edwards.