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Pair of local athletes qualify for Canadian Junior Championships

Channel Cats Blythe Wieclawek and Caleb Near both shattered club records at Long Course provincial-level swimming competitions
Ontario Swimming Championship Swimmers (2)
Caleb Near and Blythe Wieclawek, shown after shining at a recent competition, have qualified to represent Orillia and the Channel Cats at the upcoming Canadian Junior Championship. Submitted photo

The Orillia Channel Cats Swim Club recently competed in two separate Long Course Provincial level meets.    

Megan Widmer and Chilyn Fenton both attended Ontario Youth Junior Championships held in Brantford and Grier Kershaw, Blythe Wieclawek and Caleb Near attended Ontario Swimming Championships held in Scarborough.     

Widmer raced in the 100 metre backstroke, placing 10th, and 50 freestyle, placing 13th. Fenton competed in the 200 freestyle, placing 18th. Kershaw raced 100 metre freestyle (34th) and 100 breaststroke (28th).      

Blythe Wieclawek competed in the 100 metre backstroke (13th) and 50 metre freestyle (13th). In the 100 metre freestyle, she qualified for a spot in the finals and placed 10th overall (1:00.48). She also broke the club record and qualified for Canadian Junior Championships in the 100 freestyle.   

To end her meet, she raced in 200 metre backstroke and dropped five seconds from her best time and broke the club record in that event as well (2:30.57).    

Caleb Near competed in 50 freestyle (11th) 200 metre freestyle (17th) and set a new club record  (2:03.40). Also, in the 100 metre freestyle, Near qualified for a spot in finals as well as making the Canadian Junior Championship standard in that event (54.79) placing 6th overall.     

Near wrapped up his meet with the 200 backstroke, placing 4th overall just missing his personal best time.       

Near and Wieclawek are preparing for the upcoming Canadian Junior Championships in Calgary later this month and will be competing against the fastest age group swimmers in the country.