The Quesnel Waveriders Swim Club had another strong showing in the pool last weekend.
Four swimmers made the trip to Prince George for their first long-course, 50m-pool competition of the season, that featured more than 200 swimmers from across northern B.C.
All of the Quesnel swimmers posted personal best times and the group returned home with 11 top-three finishes.
For coach Laszlo Sikli, the results are all the more impressive given it was the first time his swimmers had competed in a long-track 50m pool.
Training in a short-track pool, such as the 2 m pool in Quesnel, the swimmers perform more turns and the turns usually afford swimmers a brief moment to recover as well as an opportunity to increase their speed.
“Our swimmers were at a disadvantage because they are not used to the 50m pool,” Sikli said.
Leading the way for Quesnel was 14-year-old David Sikli.
David finished the competition with a first-place finish in the 50m-butterfly, third-place finishes in the 50m and 100m-breaststroke and a fourth-place finish in the 200m-breaststroke.
“He totally surprised me,” Sikli said.
“Especially considering he’s only been competing for six months.”
Although he has no aspirations of becoming an Olympic swimmer, David also did not discount the possibility should the stars line up for him.
“I enjoy the competition,” David said of his commitment to swimming.
“I like to race.”
Garnett Currie, 10, also continued to show improvement in his results, with several personal best times on his way to six top-three finishes.
Currie swam to a first-place finish in the 100m breaststroke and added second-place finishes in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events, 50m breaststroke, 50m butterfly and the 200m individual medley.
Currie topped his weekend off with a third-place finish in the 50m backstroke competition.
“Garnett just continues to improve with every competition,” Sikli said.”
“He is our most decorated swimmer.”
Janna Kovacs, 11, didn’t finish on the podium in any of her events, but did collect several personal best times vaulted her ranking in the field into the top five.
“She just missed the podium by fractions in each of her events,” Sikli said.
The only event Kovacs did not show improvement in was the 400m freestyle.
It was her first attempt at the 400m in competition and although she didn’t match her personal best, she was nonetheless pleased with the result considering it was her fourth race of the morning.
Kovacs didn’t have to compete in the 400m, given she was slated to participate in four other events, but she wanted to give it a try for one simple reason.
“I like the longer races,” she said with a smile.
At eight laps, the 400m gives a swimmer plenty of time to think, but Kovacs said her mind didn’t wander, she remained focused on her technique.
“High elbows, I need to keep my elbows high,” Kovacs, a Grade 6 student at Dragon Lake elementary school, said was at the forefront of her mind.
Lazlo was also understanding of Kovacs’ slower time in the 400m given that she had been sick for several weeks prior to the competition.
“You don’t recover from that easily and it was her fourth race of the morning,” Sikli said.
“She had a good pace for the first laps, but she couldn’t stay with it, her endurance wasn’t there.”
Also showing improvement was Réka Sikli, who up until six months ago had never swam, never mind competed.
The 11-year-old Réka’s highest finish was a sixth place in the 50m breaststroke which also netted her a personal best time.
“I’m very proud of all the team members,” Sikli said.
“Each one has achieved in one way or another, technique, speed or the commitment they put in.”