90 per cent personal bests for UCSC at Ontario Junior International

Lauren Wilson
Dec 19, 2018


It had been 3 seasons since the Dinos were last at the Ontario Junior International meet at the Pan American Games legacy pool in Scarborough, Ontario.  The excitement and hype of the meet did not disappoint!

The 9 swimmers who flew out to OJI one week after the end of the Youth Cup in the same facility had high expectations based on how well their teammates swam.  The meet had some definite international flair with the Great Britain team, Scottish team and Japanese teams as well as a dozen or so ‘all star’ teams from across Canada. It started out and finished as a breakthrough kind of weekend for our Dinos. 

Day One

We started the meet with the 200 Free where our Dinos went 7 for 8 best times and huge swims from the boys with Liam Dennett advancing to the B final with a 1:52.20 and a new club record while Paul McKenzie advanced to the A with a 1:51.79 (3+ second drop).  Only Gemma exceeded Paul’s improvement with a 2:03.75 that was also a new club record (3.84 second PB).  Aiden Luykenaar dropped over 1.5 seconds in his 100 Breast to 1:03.97 and into the B Finals. His time in the new club record dropping the record by over a full second.  Hannah Bennett equaled her PB in the 400 IM in the morning and then had her breakout swim at 4:49.63 in the B finals.  Aiden also dropped 6 seconds in his 400 IM. Laura Albers swam to a best in the 100 Fly and 50 Back narrowly missing breaking 30 seconds in that event (30.03).  Liz and Seb both in the finals swam great underwater races in the 50 Back with Liz at 28.93 and Sebastian Castillo at 25.96.  Paul casually cruised to a 7 second PB in the 800 Free at the end of the prelim session.  That night ended with our girls’ team absolutely crushing the 4x200 Free Relay and breaking the club record by over 7 seconds (8:11.11) - Sarah Corson (leading out a best time 2:03.21), Gemma Norman, Laura Albers and Hannah Bennett.  The only team to beat the Dinos was the All-Star team of Swim BC.  We were by far the best club team in the event.  The men finished 7th in the event with a much improved time of 7:45.21 with another great lead out from Liam Dennett (1:52.69)

Day Two

Laura started us out with a best time in the 200 Fly.  The girls in the 100 Back followed with PB’s of their own. Liz started out first breaking the club record for 16 year-olds, Gemma was next with a new club record in the 15 year old category and Hannah then broke Liz’s short lived record in the event.  Seb dropped a couple of seconds in the men’s 100 Back to advance to the B Final.  Hannah in finals went on to break the 100 back record again finishing at 1:02.33, Liz was 1:02.83 and Gemma 1:03.47.  Seb was the king of the B Final winning the event with a great 55.39 and a huge best time!  Sarah, Liam and Paul all advanced to 2nd swims in the 400 Free with Liam leading the way with an A final and a huge club record of 3:57.71.  Sarah had her breakthrough at night going sub 4:20 for the first time and Paul narrowly missed the 4min mark going 4:00.62.  All were great races and best times!  All the ladies were in the 50 Free and the race in the prelim was between 26.1 and 26.5.  Liz and Hannah had a three way swim off at the end of prelims where Liz broke 26 for the first time (25.92).  All the girls were best times in the event.  Liam followed his 3:57 400 Free with a PB in the 50m event with very little time between.  Aiden dropped nearly 5 seconds in the 200 Breast and matched his performance in the B final at night.  His time of 2:21.71 broke Oliver Bidrman’s club record from 2014.  Laura and Seb wrapped up the session with the 50 Fly both with best times and Laura into the B final where she went another personal best.  At night the 4x100 did not disappoint.  After our silver place finish in the 4x200 the girls wanted to get on the podium again and sure enough with a PB lead out from Gemma Norman and 3 more 56+ swims from Liz, Laura and Hannah our girls ended up silver again and another huge drop in the club record.  The boys got a great lead out from Aiden with a 2 second PB and our men matched the girls by equaling their 4x200 result of 7th.

Day Three

Hannah Bennett led the way with a top 5 performance in the 200 IM and a new club record of 2:16.35.  Aiden was also a personal best at 2:11 in the IM event.  Laura narrowly missed her PB.  Once again all the girls were in the 100 Free and Liz Ling led the way by sneaking into the top 16.  Hannah ended up in a swim off for alternate.  Although she went out slower at the 50m mark she went a big PB and won the swim off.  Gemma and Sarah were also big best times in the morning.  Liam blew through his best and squeaked into the B final where he equaled his 52 while Paul was stuck at alternate with more in the tank but a best time none the less.  Gemma and Seb were both PB’s in the morning of the 200 Back with Seb getting a lane in the A Final.  That night the Dinos were cheering loud and proud as Seb broke through the 2:00 mark going 1:59.62 and finishing just shy of the podium at 4th.  50 Breast was up next where both Liz and Aiden swam to PB’s.  Sarah and Liam both had another breakthrough swim in the 800 and 1500 respectively.  Sarah getting through the 9:00 mark going 8:58.77 and Liam dropping over 45 seconds, breaking 16mins and the club record (formerly held by Coach Ray Betuzzi) and finished 6th overall (15:48.49).  At night the 4x100 MR was once again a club record for the ladies where Gemma Norman added to the 1:02’s in the 100 back breaking her own club record on the last swim of the meet and Hannah dropping a 1:12 breast, Laura 1:02 Fly and Liz a 55 free split to break the club record again and with a timely dq from Team BC, we ended up bronze in the event!  The gentlemen got another PB out of Sebastian Castillo taking 1/100th off his 55.39 in his last swim while Aiden, Paul and Liam all swam the team to a not surprising 7th place finish!

The meet was a huge success and was an enjoyable experience for both Staff and Swimmers at the meet.  I am proud of the work the swimmer put in to get to their individual best times (90% PB’s on the weekend) but also very impressed by the pride they’ve showed in each other’s results all season long.  This group is moving together and lifting each other to greater heights and I couldn’t be happier.

Coach Carl