Penticton AA Swim BC Championships - Feb. 2016

Penticton "AA" Swim BC Short Course Championships, 12th - 14th February 2016

-written by Head Coach Malwina Bukszowana

Link to Whitehorse Star Sports article:  Feb. 19, 2016

15 swimmers from Whitehorse Glacier Bears qualified for this swim meet and 12 of them went to Penticton to represent Yukon at BC AA Championships. 

Our athletes didn't go there to watch it, they were all busy swimming heats in the morning and fighting in the finals every afternoon. It was an amazing performance for our isolated club from Yukon. 

Those kids from our team should be proud of themselves. Out of 38 swim clubs competing this weekend, WGB placed 6th overall, standing ahead of a very big BC clubs like Spartan, Hayak, UVIC- PCS or Vancouver Pacific Swim Club, who are always at the top of the rankings. 

12 Whitehorse Glacier Bears swimmers are coming back home with 16 medals: 9 golds and 7 silvers and 41 A finals and 9 B finals.

As usually spending time with this bunch of kids is very fun. They are good friends together and they have fun on deck. Some of them managed to entertain the cheering crowd quite a lot. 

Thomas Bakica “swam his pants off”. He was on fire, very excited and very fast and really ended up going back to the hotel with his swimsuit on, leaving his pants lost in Penticton. 

Thomas won 3 gold and 2 silver medals. He clearly proved that he has nobody to race against in his 400 IM final. There was 2 other boys trying to keep up with him during the first half of that race, but Thomas left everybody behind on Breastroke and gave the other boys no chances to catch him anymore. Thomas still can go few seconds faster if he can learn to use more of his fly kicks off the walls and if he will stay tighter on his touch turns and he will get more confident using his back to breast turn. 

Thomas had to work a little bit harder for his gold in 100 Breast. He was pushed by another swimmer for the entire race and won it only on his last reach.

400 Free A final for 12-13 years old boys was like a show. Thomas, Aidan Harvey and Alex Petriw delivered us a lot of emotions. Thomas took a lead from the start. Aidan and Alex chased him for the whole race. Alex in the far lane was a little separated from our 2 boys, he stayed a little behind taking a lead of his pack on the other side of the pool. Aidan stayed with Thomas the whole way. Our leader was increasing the pace and only Aidan and 2 other BC swimmers picked up. The race was very close, but Thomas miscounted the laps and instead reaching for a finish, he did a flip turn. This mistake cost him a medal, he lost it by 0.23 sec and ended up placing 4th. Aidan came 2nd wining a battle with the 3rd BC boy by 0.10 sec. Alex finished 7th. Watching this 400 Free race with our 3 boys playing the main role, was like watching a good show. 

Aidan Harvey won 2 gold and 2 silver medals. He was unbeatable in his 200 Back from the start, through his entire race. He just went for it and he was doing so well, that other coaches asked if Aidan is going to be able to hold it. Yes, he did. His smooth Backstroke looks effortless and for sure Aidan can be even faster if he adds more fly kicks on each turn. Winning 200 and 50 Back and bringing home silver in 100 Back, Aidan was quietly calling himself a king of backstroke. 

Another great 200m Backstroke race had Brooklyn Massie. She said, that she is not going back home unless she has a medal. Brook was fighting for it and she came 2nd in the final. Great price for the hard work she has done in the last few months.

Amelia Ford is flying back home with 2 gold and 1 silver medal. She is fast, she gets on the block, wins her 50 Fly and 50 Free, gets second in 100 Free and it is done. Amelia qualified for this swim meet for the first time, she is an ambitious girl, who wants to learn, listens, will ask for corrections and is working towards her improvement. 

Kassua Dreyer wins 2 gold and 1 silver medal. She for sure can hold the strong pace for a long distance very well. Kassua after last swim meet was working very hard towards improving her Freestyle technique and it payed off, all the medals she won in Freestyle races.

Both Kassua and Amelia were the youngest girls on our team and are coached by Kathy Zrum. 

Our the youngest athlete in Penticton, Thomas Gishler (age 10), was the only WGB swimmer who broke a club record. Thomas came 6th in 50 Fly and he is also coached by Kathy Zrum.

Not far of the medals were our other A finalists.
Alex Petriw, swam in 5 A finals, placing 6th in 1500 Free, 5th in 100 Back, 8th in 100 Free, 7th in 400 Free, 8th in 200 Back.
Cassidy Cairns placed 4th in 100 Free.
Luke Bakica 6th in 200 Breast.

4x 50 Feee boys relay won 6th place (Thomas Bakica, Liam Diamond, Aidan Harvey, Alex Petriw).

Big achievement for our first time qualifiers was B final:
Donovan Bielz qualified in 100 Free and 200 Free, Liam Diamond in 200 Free, Ella Pollock- Shepherd in 100 Breast and 200 Breast.

The entire AA team from Whitehorse deserves their achievements. Everybody works hard in practice, and at young age, everybody already knows, that the success in life doesn’t come easy, that they need to work for it and it is worth. Lots of hours spent in the pool is not only fun, that they have with all the teammates, but it is also an experience and a lesson for the future.

AA BC Championships results:

Thomas Bakica:

3 gold, 2 silver, total 8 A finals, 6th in 4x50 Free relay

Aidan Harvey:
2 golds, 2 silvers, total 6 A finals, with 6th in the 4x 50 Free relay


Amelia Ford:

2 golds, 1 silver, total 6 A finals


Kassua Dreyer:

2 golds, 1 silver, total 6 A finals


Brooklyn Massie:

1 silver, total 8 A finals


Alex Petriw:

5 A finals and 1 B final, 6th 4x 50 Free relay


Cassidy Cairns:

1 A final, and 1 B final


Luka Bakica:

1 A final, 2 B finals


Ella Pollock Shepherd:

2 B finals


Donovan Bielz:

2 B finals


Liam Diamond:

1 B final , 6th 4x 50 Free relay


Thomas Gishler:

1 A final. He broke his own club record in this event: 50 Fly.