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Age Group Provincials -- News Article

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Submitted to Summerland Review: 

            It was a rare cold snowy weekend on the coast, but inside the Vancouver Aquatic Center the swimming was anything but cold.  Six Summerland Orca athletes qualified for the Swim BC Age Group Provincial Championships Feb 22ndto 24th, and returned with 9 medals, 14 Top 10 finishes, and 40 personal best times.  


Summerland Swimmers racing were: Payton Mitchell (10), Taryn Weatherhead (10), Gordon Widdis (11), Dezi Ducheck (11), Casey McDermid (12), Emily Jell (12)


            Taryn Weatherhead lead the charge winning 3 gold medals, 2 silvers and 1 bronze medal in the female 10& Under category as teammate Dezi Ducheck added 1 gold and 1 silver for the Male 11& Under category.  


Weatherhead dominated the marquee 100m Freestyle event from the outside lane winning in a time of 1:09.38 over a full second in front of the silver medallist.  Meanwhile, Ducheck had to come from behind for his gold medal in the 100m Butterfly, passing his competitors with less than 10m to the finish, posting a time of 1:12.70, just a few tenths faster than the second-place finisher.  Both times were under club records.


            “The Swim BC Provincials are the highest level of competition for these young athletes,” explains Head Coach Delano Ducheck, “and BC is one of the toughest swim provinces in Canada.  I can guarantee there is a future Olympic Swimmer who took part in the competition, probably several, the question is who will take all these racing experiences and build off them in the next decade to fifteen years.”


With thirty-nine teams and over 450 pre-teen athletes, the Swim BC Provincials saw several Provincial and National Records attained.  Summerland swimmers didn’t earn any Provincial or National records but four athletes broke a combined 16 club records.


At provincial and national level competitions, the Summerland team joins forces with Kelowna Aquajets to form a high-performance team called K.W.I.C. -- Kelowna Westside Integrated Club.  The opportunity allows the athletes to be part of a bigger organization for training and competition purposes, and many friendships also blossom along the way.  


One of these fusions was the K.W.I.C. 11& under relay team, who brought home a silver medal in the 4x50 Freestyle event.  The team consisted of two Kelowna and two Summerland members: Dezi Ducheck, Gordon Widdis, Scott Watson, and Aiden Kirk.  In an exciting race, Aiden Kirk from the K.W.I.C. team came from 10m behind to almost win the event in the last few meters.  


The K.W.I.C. team finished 7thoverall in the team standings and topped the Okanagan region with their performances.


“To have so many fast and young swimmers coming out from our little community pool is quite remarkable,” said Coach Ducheck, “I’m proud of all of them. They are true competitors.”  


With over 100 competitive and Learn-to-swim athletes in ORCA, Summerland swimmers have more meets to look forward in the next couple of weeks: the Regional Champs in Salmon Arm March 1-3, the 13&Over Provincials in Kamloops March 7-10, and our very own Summerland Jamboree on Sunday March 10th


The Summerland Jamboree will be first Orca hosted swim meet of any level in over ten years and will feature entry level swimmers competing in all four Olympic strokes.   There will be teams from the Okanagan and Kootenay taking part on March 10thbetween 1:00-4:00PM.