Swimmers around the province saw what the Moose Jaw Kinsmen Flying Fins have to offer this season after local club put together an outstanding showing last weekend in Saskatoon.
The Flying Fins captured 26 medals in total at the Brainsport Invitational and Developmental meets in the Bridge City.
“This was our first long course meet of the season and all of the kids did really well,” said Laura Harvey, the new head coach of the Fins.
“Our younger development swimmers ended up with almost 100 percent best times and they went home with seven top-three finishes. Our older swimmers really showed Saskatchewan what Moose Jaw can do and they took 19 top-three finishes, there was eight gold, five silver and six bronze.”
Austin Lin had a big day at the meet as he achieved his first national qualifying time with a great swim in the 50-metre free to claim bronze. He also won bronze in his 100m butterfly.
“Austin is one of those swimmers that puts in 110 percent effort at every practice,” said Harvey. “He was very deserving of that accomplishment and a little bit relieved, it’s a bit tense sometimes trying to get those times, so getting that time will make him feel pretty great.”
13-year-old Danael Lieu won four gold medals with them coming in the 200m free, 100m backstroke, 200m breaststroke and 100m butterfly. He also claimed silver in the 50m free and 400m individual medley.
Cadence Johns won gold in the 100m backstroke and 200m breaststroke, while also claiming silver in the 100m butterfly. Her sister, Chloe Johns won gold in her 200m breaststroke and silver in the 400m individual medley.
Olivia Harvey claimed a gold in the 50m freestyle, silver in the 100m backstroke and bronze in the 200m freestyle.
Elyssa Tacchi picked up a bronze medal in the 50 and 200m breaststrokes, while Reese Koch won one in the 100m backstroke.
That gives the Fins four swimmers heading to the Western Canadian championships in April.
On the developmental side, Harry Lin led the way for the Fins with a gold in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 50m butterfly.
Cole Cross picked up silver in his 50m fly, while scoring a bronze in the 100m breaststroke; Damian Chartrand and Mateah Purdy both picked up bronze medals in their respective 200m breaststrokes; and Rebekah Wright won gold with a very fast 50m free swim.
“It was a great way to kick things off,” said Harvey. “I was really impressed by the athletes’ sportsmanship, they super supportive of their teammates and competitors, so that was pretty awesome.”
Harvey took over as the head coach of the Flying Fins to start 2018 and she said she’s been enjoying her time leading the squad so far, “It’s been an incredible transition with me as the head coach, the athletes, the parents and board have been super welcoming,” she said.
“It’s always a little apprehensive as a coach coming into a tight knit community, you worry that people won’t be open to your new ideas, but that hasn’t been the case here, the organization as a whole has been pretty fantastic to work with.”
The Flying Fins will be back in the pool early next month when they host the Swim Saskatchewan Junior Short Course Provincial Championship on Mar. 9-11 at the Kinsmen Sportsplex.