The first day of competition at the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, being held at the spectacular Syncrude Aquatic Centre in Fort McMurray, AB, proved to be a showcase for some of the best up-and-coming swimmers in BC, with numerous medals, personal bests, and great races delivered by our team.
The competition, which pits BC against Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the three territories, represents the end of the season for the 130+ athletes in attendance, encompassing able-bodied swimmers, along with para-swimmers and Special Olympics swimmers, all competing for “flag points” which determine which province will take home the 2015 Western Canada Games Championship.
The first medal event of the meet was actually the girls’ 1500 Free, swum at the conclusion of the day’s prelims session, and in it, SwimBC went 1-2, with Molly Gowans (UVPCS) and Brooke Lamoureux (COMOX) claiming the top two places.
Not to be outdone, Colin Gilbert (KCS) and Josh Zakala (KAJ) then did likewise to kick off the evening session, claiming the maximum number of team points in the boys’ 1500 Free. Earning the unofficial “Tough as Nails” award for the evening, Gilbert also won the silver in the 400IM as well as anchoring the winning boys’ 4x200 Free Relay, along with Zakala (silver medalist in 100 Back), Paul Zou, and Lucas Tyler.
The format of the meet allows for only two swimmers from each team to score and/or make it through to the final, so it’s worth mentioning that Andrew Woinoski, finished with the third-fastest time; however, with the scoring rules, did not claim a medal.
Other event winners on the day included Tai Long Singh (WDSC) in both the 100 Free and 100 Back; Mackenzie Padington (CRKW) in the girls’ 400IM; and Ian Ralston (CRKW) in the para boys 100 Free and 100 Back.
Our other medalists were Hannah Esopenko (PGB) with a strong silver-medal-winning performance in the girls’ 200Breast, while Renae Ledoux (LOSC) picked up the bronze; Harry Duan with a bronze in the boys’ 200 Breast; Meredith Levorson (KCS) took home bronze in the girls’ 100 Free; Paul Zou took silver in the boys’ 100 Free, as did Megan Dalke (KCS) in the girls’ 400IM; and Aimee Brennan (SKSC) won a pair of silvers in the Para 100 Free and 100 Back, while Aidan McDonough (PSW) picked up bronze medals in those same events on the boys side.
Our teams then wrapped up the day’s competition by dominating the rest of the field in both the men’s and women’s 4x200 Free Relay.