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Orillia Channel Cats shine in Barrie, shatter records

'Our swimmers did great, they are showing improvement ... and learning the difference between swimming versus racing'
Orillia Channel Cats head coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards reviews race splits in Barrie with Blythe Wieclawek. Submitted photo

The Orillia Channel Cats Swim Club recently competed at the Barrie Aquafest. Forty swimmers were in attendance from the Bronze, Silver and Gold training groups.      

“This is the first meet of the season that offers preliminaries and finals for the 13-and-over swimmers, it seems to get them fired up,” says head coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards.    

The 13-and-over age group races in the morning, and if they make top 16 in their events they race those events again at night.      

“Some swimmers had to race eight events in one day which is definitely a test of mental and physical strength. We had faster swims at finals as well which was really encouraging to see,” adds Thompson-Edwards.    

The 12-and-under age group raced Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and we saw a lot of personal best times from them as well.

“Our swimmers did great, they are showing improvement in technique and learning the difference between swimming versus racing,” says Coach Tatum Haslem.   

Blythe Wieclawek, 13, broke four 13- and 14-year-old female short course club records

  • 50 metre freestyle (27.90)
  • 100 metre backstroke (1:08.29)
  • 50 metre butterfly (29.46)
  • 50 metre backstroke (32.81)

Blythe improved her qualifying times for the Ontario Swimming Championships in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

Caleb Near, 16, won the High Point award for the 15-and-over males earning a total of 127 points. Just one point separated him from the second-place finisher.

Near also qualified for Ontario Swimming Championships in the 100 metre (1:00.23) and 200 metre backstroke (2:13.49), 50 metre freestyle (24.92) and Owen Rosati, 16, qualified for Ontario Swimming Championships in the 100 metre backstroke (1:01.47). 

The following swimmers qualified for the Ontario Youth Junior Championships:

  • Hughie Edwards 200 metre backstroke (2:15.50)
  • Grier Kershaw, 17, in the 200 metre breaststroke (2:36.08)
  • Holly McCool, 16, in the 50 freestyle (28.35)
  • Megan Widmer, 16, in the 100 freestyle (1:01.47)

Swimmers in attendance included: Tess McKenzie, Meagan Mckenzie, Evangeline Cooke, Nathan McClinchey, Flora Haslem, Katie Heckendorn, Peyton Nie,Hayden Nie, Caleb Near, Indiana Abram, Chloe smith, Emily Gordon, Owen Rosati , Esmee Rosati, Owen Wagner, Evan Wagner, Alexander Baillie, Ariel McGee, Rachel Carr, Tristan Sekleski, Anna Holton, Kait Madden,Olivia LePage,Ava Holly Eliott, Grier Kershaw, Marley Grave, Charlee Tillmanns, Nicolas Rainville, Mathieu Rainville, Blythe Wieclawek, Adair Wieclawek, Owen McCool, Holly McCool, Jackson Denne, Zach Moczkodan, Meghan Rogers, Hughie Edwards and Hannah Kennedy.