Ostara Invitational Meet - Victoria, BC Feb 21-24

Ostara Invitational Meet Report

Feb 21-24th, 2019

Coach Julia Veidt


Whitehorse Glacier Bears sent eleven athletes to the 1st Annual Pacific Coast Swimming Ostara Invitational in Victoria. Aiden Harvey,  Alexa Mannen, Amelia Ford, Brynna Lalonde, Cassidy Cairns, Elsa Parr, Emily Vangel, Jaime Chown-Chaikel, Jayden Martsinkiw, Kassua Dreyer and Maddy Mead were in attendance along with coach Julia Veidt and parent chaperone Desiree Martsinkiw.


The meet was a team travel meet, with everyone travelling, swimming, and eating together. The athletes travelled to Vancouver Thursday morning, and took transit to the UBC campus where they watched the U-Sports Swimming Championships (the equivalent of nationals for university swimmers in Canada). It was a great experience to see some of Canada’s fastest swimmers, including several Olympians and one former world record holder, compete in person. The swimmers also toured the UBC campus, learned about university life, and got to talk to some of the athletes competing at the meet about swimming competitively in university.


Thursday night the group took the ferry to Victoria. Friday and Saturday the athletes competed at the 1st Annual Ostara Invitational, a long course (LCM) heats and finals meet at Saanich Commonwealth Place. It was the first time competing LCM for Jaime, Brynna, Alexa, Jayden, Maddy, and Emily. Although the adjustment to fewer turns in the longer pool took some getting used to, everyone kept an open mind and gained a lot of confidence by the end of the meet. It was great to watch all the athletes step up and race after a long travel day, and they were amazing at cheering and supporting each other. The days at the meet were long with a quick turnaround between heats and finals, but the group stayed positive and everyone returned to the pool in the evening to swim finals warmup and cheer even if they were not competing in finals. It was great to see everyone bond and cheer for each other the entire weekend.


Notable swims of the meet included:

  • Emily Vangel making her first final ever outside of the Yukon in the 400m free. Emily made it into the final from alternate position, and took advantage of the chance to race by getting her second PB of the day and qualifying for Western Canada Summer Games.

  • Aiden Harvey stroked a PB and won bronze in the 50m backstroke. It was also Aiden’s first time breaking the 1-minute barrier in the LCM 100 metre freestyle.

  • Brynna Lalonde qualifying for Western Canada Summer Games in the 50m butterfly.

  • Finalists were: Aiden Harvey, Amelia Ford, Cassidy Cairns, Emily Vangel, Elsa Parr.

  • Swimmers with 100% best times were: Kassua, Jaime, Brynna, Alexa, Jayden, Maddy, and Emily. Aiden and Amelia got PBs in all except one race.


The swimmers would like to thank the WGB board members for their support of this trip. We would also like to thank Desiree for chaperoning, taking pictures, and making sure everyone was well fed! Thanks to Lotteries Yukon and Air North for their support.




Walking to the bus in Vancouver...we travelled by plane, ferry, bus (including a double-decker one), taxi, sky train, and on foot!

Swimmers watching USports at UBC

Team activation between heats and finals at UBC

Chatting with Samuel Lasinski (current McGill swimmer and Julia’s former teammate).

The team cheering for Kassua

Team photo!