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Orillia swimmers shatter records, sizzle at Team Challenge

'I am really proud of our swimmers,' says Channel Cats coach; 49 local athletes competed at Whitby event
A large group of Channel Cats swimmers competed recently at the Ontario Team Challenge. Submitted photo

Forty-nine members of the Orillia Channel Cats Swim Club recently competed in the Ontario Team Challenge Meet hosted by The Whitby Dolphins Swim Club.         

Thirty-six teams from all over Ontario made the trip to the Markham Pan Am Centre for the competition. Orillia placed 11th overall.   

“We didn’t participate in this meet last season, so weren’t sure what the competition would be like. Our swimmers did a great job and performed well all weekend,” said head coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards.       

Three more swimmers qualified for Huronia Long Course Regionals which will take place later this month in Sudbury. Currently, 35 swimmers have made the regional  standards.

Ava-Holly Elliott qualified in 50 freestyle, 100 and 200 breaststroke, Emma Pilger also qualified in 50 freestyle, 100 and 200 breaststroke and Ashley Hunter qualified in the 100 breaststroke.   

“I am really proud of our swimmers, they all stepped it up and did their best to improve,” added coach Tatum Haslem.    

Fourteen club records were broken as well; nine short-course and five long-course records were set.

Short-course record breakers included: Blythe Wieclawek (13) 50 freestyle (27.45), 50 backstroke (32.09), 100 backstroke (1:07.66), 200 Individual Medley (2:32.61); Indiana Abram (12) 200 butterfly (2:57.54); Caleb Near (16) 800 freestyle (8:59.60) 400 freestyle (4:24.21), 200 Individual Medley (2:12.78) and Grier Kershaw 100 breaststroke (1:07.87).    

Long-course record breakers included: Blythe Wieclawek 50 backstroke (32.52) and 100 backstroke (1:08.15); Megan Widmer (17) 50 backstroke (33.47); Grier Kershaw 100 breaststroke (1:09.86) and Caleb Near 200 Individual Medley (2:17.33).     

Swimmers who made it to the podium included: Adair Wieclawek (10) silver in 50 backstroke and bronze in 50 freestyle; Hughie Edwards (17) gold 100 backstroke, silver 200 breaststroke, bronze 100 breaststroke and 200 backstroke; Grier Kershaw (18) gold 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke; Caleb Near gold 800 freestyle and 50 butterfly; bronze 100 freestyle and 200 Individual Medley; Owen Rosati (16) gold 50, 100 and 200 backstroke; Blythe Wieclawek silver 100 bacsktroke.      

All other swimmers who contributed to the overall team results included:  Rachel Carr, Zach Mockzodan, Eve Cosco, Peyton Nie, Marit Kershaw, Owen Wagner, Evan Wagner, Anna Holton, Erik Vurma, Anna Vurma, Flora Haslem, Nathan McClinchey, Olivia LePage, Meagan Mackenzie, Tess Mackenzie, Benjamin Thomson, Hannah Kennedy, Tristan Sekleski, Ava Hunter, Rebecca Mascioli, Emily Gordon, Alexander Baillie, Isabella Holmgren, Ava Holmgren, Meghan Rogers, Ariel McGee, Esmee Rosati, Charlee Tillmanns, Emma Boychoff, Owen McCool, Donovan Allin, Kaitlyn Allin, Sayre Hart, Jackson Denne, Mathieu Rainville, Nic Rainville, Nathaniel Sneyd and Peter Sneyd.