A total of 17 Cowichan Valley Breakers swimmers — including the members of the record-setting Div. 2 girls freestyle relay team — qualified for the BC Summer Swimming Association Provincial Championships as the club hosted the Vancouver Island regional meet at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre on Aug. 7-9.
The remarkable total makes the meet one of the Breakers’ most successful regional meets yet.
“Our swimmers have been training all season for this specific swim meet,” head coach Nick Welychko said. “The amount of ribbons, medals and best times the swimmers achieved really goes to show the hard work and dedication that has been put in this season. I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.”
The 26 Breakers who competed were among more than 400 swimmers from across the Island region, which includes Powell River and Saltspring Island, at the three-day meet. The top three finishers in each event and the top two from each relay in turn qualified for the provincial championships at Commonwealth Place in Saanich this weekend.
As a team, the Breakers placed fourth of 11 in the girls standings and fifth of 12 in the boys standings.
“Although all of the Breakers had spectacular swims throughout the meet, the Div. 2 girls freestyle relay had everyone in the pool on the edge of their seats,” coach Rachel Wood said. “Brynna Coogan, Aniela Hagen, Kaitlyn Atleo and Hannah Doman each swam two lengths of the pool for the relay, ultimately coming in first place and crushing the previously standing meet record by three seconds.”
The Breakers foursome completed the relay in two minutes and 37.7 seconds, and will get another chance to compete at provincials. The same team also placed first in the medley relay.
Also going to provincials is the Div. 4 boys relay team of Madoc Trafford, Lukas Bloss, Wyatt Rorick and Ryan Smith, who finished second in their event.
From the Div. 2 girls relay team, Coogan also qualified for provincials by placing first in the 50m backstroke, and second in the individual medley and both the 50m and 100m free. Hagen finished second in the 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke, and third in the 100m free, and locked up an alternate spot in the IM. Atleo is an alternate in the IM, 50m fly and 50m breaststroke.
In the Div. 1 girls events, Anna Fairweather is an alternate in the 50m fly, and Sadie MacDonald is an alternate in the 50m backstroke.
In the Div. 2 boys class, Lock Kapucinski qualified third in the 50m breaststroke, and is an alternate in the IM.
In the Div. 3 boys class, Ryan Smith qualified third in the 50m fly and is an alternate in the 50m and 100m free and in the 50m breaststroke, while Madoc Trafford is an alternate in the 50m and 100m free and in the 50 backstroke. Maya Doman is an alternate in the Div. 3 girls 50m breaststroke.
Lukas Bloss is an alternate in the Div. 4 boys 100m breaststroke, while Gabby Pask is an alternate in the Div. 4 girls IM and 100m backstroke.
Kenzie Pask qualified first in the Div. 5 girls 100m backstroke and Sydnae Lowe qualified third in the 100m breaststroke, while Rhys Trafford is an alternate in the Div. 5 boys 100m backstroke and breaststroke.
In Div. 6, Tyler LeBlanc qualified second in the boys 100m backstroke and is an alternate in the 100m breaststroke, while James Urquhart qualified third in the boys, 100m backstroke and is an alternate in the 100m butterfly, and Sydnae Lowe is an alternate in the girls IM.
Reid Urquhart placed sixth with a provincial qualifying time in the Div. 7 boys 100m backstroke, and Haeley Lowe is an alternate in the Div. 7 girls IM, 50m and 100m free, and 100m backstroke.
In the ‘O’ Cat 2 girls races, Sofie Bloss qualified third in the 100m butterfly and is an alternate in the 50m fly.
The coaches also got into the qualifying. Welychko qualified third in the Div. 8 boys IM, placed fourth with a PQT in the 100m breaststroke, and is an alternate in the 100m free. Wood placed sixth with a PQT in the Div. 8 girls 100m backstroke and is an alternate in the 50m free.
Coogan and Hagen also qualified as members of the Div. 2 girls regional relay team, and Kenzie Pask qualified to swim backstroke on the Div. 5 girls regional relay team. Atleo, Kapuscinski, Smith, Gabby Pask, Haeley Lowe and Welychko qualified as alternates on their respective regional relay teams.
The Breakers coaches and swimmers also acknowledged the hard work of the parent volunteers who made the event run smoothly by helping with setup, electronics, officiating and general management.
“We greatly appreciate the effort that has been put in by the parents during the season, and this meet was no exception,” Welychko said.