Twenty-one members of the team selected to represent TeamBC at the 2015 Western Canada Games in Fort McMurray made the trip to Tucson, AZ, last weekend for the Southwest Classic swim meet, hosted by the Ford Aquatics at the University of Arizona.
We were extremely pleased with all outcomes, with a number of swimmers placing in the Top5 in individual rankings, as well as our squad taking the overall team title.
Our goal with taking the team to Arizona was to put the swimmers in something of an uncomfortable setting - in a different climate, away from their home clubs, with unfamiliar teammates and coaches, looking to have them come together as a team and perform as such also.
With this being an in-season meet, we weren’t necessarily expecting or looking for PBs, but rather, the emphasis was to be close (within 2%) and to race for placings - much like the swimmers will be called upon to do at the Games this summer.
“Looking at the psych sheet, I knew our swimmers would be competitive in a lot of races, but figured that with the home club’s numbers, we’d probably fall a bit short in team scoring", said Head Coach, Mike Flegel. "But the swimmers did a phenomenal job in stepping up and delivering some truly spectacular performances. Every time the staff pointed out something that they could focus on and do better, they stepped up and delivered."
Case in point: On the second day of the meet, our men’s relay team ended up placing third by less than a second behind two “NT” entries from an early heat. The coaches made the point that they had to swim the relay like they were in a head-to-head battle, even if they were out-front in their heat by 20m.
And sure enough: the final event of the meet - the men’s 4x100MR would require a “faster than their combined PBs by more than 1.5sec” performance to surpass the NT teams in heat 1. Our guys stood up and won the race not by a tenth or two, but by over a full second, surpassing their entry time by almost two full seconds!
Big thanks to the men’s coach (Tina Hoeben - KISU) and women’s coach (Rod Barratt - UVPCS) for doing an effective job in guiding the swimmers over the course of the weekend; to our Team Manager - Carrie Matheson - for looking after the care, feeding, and logistics for the week; and most importantly to our swimmers, who managed themselves exceptionally well, supported one another whole-heartedly, and competed with courage, conviction, and composure.