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Orillia Channel Cats bring home big medal haul from Regionals

Cats swim to 25 gold medals, 13 silver, 13 bronze and shatter nine records

The Orillia Channel Cats Swim Club recently competed in the Huronia Short Course Regional Championships held in Bracebridge.

Thirty-one swimmers from Orillia were in attendance competing against eight other clubs in the region.     

Regionals are a championship meet, which means there are preliminaries and finals. The top 16 swimmers (13 & over age groups) in each event during the morning session advance to finals at night.    

“We had one of the most successful Regionals in terms of improved performances from preliminaries to finals. All of our swimmers improved their times during the finals session,” said Cats head coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards.      

The 12 & under age groups have timed finals and also raced really well.

“We are very pleased with everyone in terms of technical improvements and performance,” said Coach Tatum Haslem.     

For the CATS, 50 events placed within the top 3 in each age group.

“We had 25 gold medals, 13 silver and 13 bronze,” adds Thompson-Edwards.

Nine short course club records were broken by local swimmers.

Blythe Wiecalwek (13) set new marks in the 50-metre freestyle (27.60), 50 metre backstroke (32.28), 100 backstroke (1:08.08) and 200-metre backstroke (2:28.24). Chilyn Fenton (17) broke the 200-metre freestyle record (2:08.58) as well as the 800-metre freestyle (9:35.55).   

Indiana Abram (11) broke a long-standing record in the 200-metre butterfly (3:03.20).

Caleb Near (16) improved his own records in the 100-metre backstroke (57.90) and 200-metre backstroke (2:06.81). Mathieu Rainville (13) qualified for Winter Provincial Festivals in the 50-metre freestyle (28.06).   

Swimmers who placed within the top three in their individual events include: Indiana Abram, Hughie Edwards, Chilyn Fenton, Anna Holton, Isabella Holmgren, Katie Heckendorn, Owen McCool, Grier Kershaw, Olivia LePage, Ariel McGee, Caleb Near, Emma Pilger, Mathieu Rainville, Blythe Wieclawek and Adair Wieclawek.       

Swimmers who also earned team points and personal best times include: Evangeline Cooke, Sayre Hart, Flora Haslem, Tess Mackenzie, Holly McCool, Hayden Nie, Peyton Nie, Meghan Rogers, Tristan Sekleski, Chloe Smith, Esmee Rosati, Owen Rosati, Charlee Tillmanns, Megan Widmer and Elle Waite.       

Up next for the CATS is the Muskats Splash Meet  at the Orillia YMCA followed by Winter Provincial Festivals held in Etobicoke.