February 9, 2018
The Haines winter Games North swim meet was very well attended by the Whitehorse Glacier Bears, with 39 athletes participating. It was a very young and enthusiastic crew of mostly 12 and under swimmers, several of them participating in their first swim meet ever.
The Haines Dolphins were very welcoming hosts. The competition atmosphere was very energetic and participation-oriented. This meet is special because it is one of the only international competitions that the younger Glacier Bears have the chance to attend. American swimming is run in 25 yard pools, which added an extra challenge as in Canada we swim in 25 or 50 meter format. Many swimmers participated in the 500 and 1650 freestyle races, distances not typically swum at Canadian meets. Outside of the meet, the swimmers enjoyed exploring american cusine and also attending a high school basketball game (complete with a band and cheerleaders!).
Everyone who attended swam at least one personal best time, with too many top 10 finishes to mention. Due to the small size of the event, sometimes races were run in short succession giving athletes little rest in between events. Jonah McConnell, Avery Kinsella, Alexa Mannen, and Olie Johnson all completed tough doubles or triples of events with smiles on their faces (once the races were over anyways). Alexa Mannen and Maddy Mead Ava Dedon, Olie Johnson, and Ben Qually all took on the challenge of the 1650 (also known as “the mile”) on the last day and all three swimmers paced and strategized the race exceptionally well. There were many other swimmers who stepped up and took on the challenge of completing races that they had never attempted before.
One of the best parts of the meet was seeing swimmers from Polar Bear and Black Bear squads being amazing leaders to the younger athletes. They helped run warm up, get younger athletes to races, and were encouraging role models to those who were new to the competitive environment.
All the Glacier bears swimmers and coaches would like to send a huge thank you to our amazing parents who stepped up to help out on deck. We couldn’t have done it without your support!
Parent Forum Feedback
If not – I can assure you Julia and the parent “coach” volunteers did an outstanding job and helped provide all the swimmers a magnificent and positive experience – BIG kudos to them all!