By Greg Price
Local swimmers showed up in droves to support its home meet on the weekend at the Taber Aquafun Centre, and with it came many positive results.
“We had a great turnout, we had 91 per cent of our club show up at our home meet,” said Sara Clarkson, head coach of the Taber Viper Swim Club.
That participation netted a half dozen swimmers getting aggregate medals for accumulated points which included Renae Saunders (gold 17-and-under girls), Bria Hall (bronze six-and-under girls), Jackson Jones (silver six-and-under boys), Petra Tymko (silver 10-and-under girls), Rebecca Carver (third 12-and-under girls), and Jessica Anderson (bronze in 14-and-under girls).
“Even from our first meet to our second meet, we’ve seen huge improvements in our dives and turns. Most of our swimmers do dives and turns in their races, even the younger kids we’ve noticed comparing our team with a lot of the other clubs, our swimmers get on the blocks for dives a lot more than the other teams who dive off the side. That’s a huge improvement,” said Clarkson. “Other trends we are seeing is a lot of time is already coming off of swimmers’ races.”
That includes Morgan Bruce who took off 60 seconds in her combined four races she competed in at the Aquafun Centre. Clarkson also highlighted Bria Hall taking off 30 seconds in her combined races and Renae Saunders taking off 12 seconds in one race on her way to her gold medal.
“For being 16 years olds, that is huge. Normally you celebrate taking off one second at that age,” said Clarkson.
The following are results from Vipers in alphabetical order clocking top three-times in their respective age categories:
Jessica Anderson earned top times in 13-and-14-year-old girls 50-metre fly (35.62) and 50-metre backstroke (39.14) to go with a second place in 100-metre backstroke (1:24.39).
Isabelle Bennett clocked in for first-place times for 50-metre freestyle (32.03) and 50-metre breaststroke (43.48) for 18-and-over girls. She was also second in 100-metre IM (1:27.13).
Rebecca Carver’s top finishes included first place in 25-metre breaststroke (23.62), second in 50-metre breaststroke (55.51) and third for 25-metre backstroke (22.87) for nine-and-10-year-old girls.
Jenna Clarke’s time of 3:39.22 for 15-to-17-year-old girls was good enough for third.
Jordyn Clarke earned a couple of second-place finishes in 800-metre freestyle (14:10.07) and 200-metre freestyle (3:09.50 for 15-to-17-year-old girls.
Sara Clarkson earned top times in 100-metre IM (1:26.35) and 50-metre backstroke (38.72) for 18-and-over girls. She also took third in 50-metre breaststroke (44.50).
Bria Hall competed in six-and-under girls and took top time in 50-metre backstroke (1:16.39), second in 25-metre backstroke (33.80) and third IN 25-metre freestyle (36.58).
Adison Hutzul clocked top time in 200-metre freestyle (3:52.09) for nine-and-10-year-old girls.
Competing in 18-and-over girls, Kristen Irvine took second-place finishes in 50-metre freestyle (32.91) and 50-metre breaststroke (44.14). She also took third in 100-metre IM (1:28.23).
Tyler Jensen’s time of 2:07.45 was good enough for second in 100-metre backstroke for 11-and-12-year-old boys.
Jackson Jones finished with the top time for 25-metre flutterboard to go with a trio of third-place finishes in 25-metre backstroke (37.96), 50-metre backstroke (1:15.65) and 25-metre freestyle (37.96) for six-and-under boys.
Evan Klemen was third in 25-metre backstroke for nine-and-10-year-old boys.
Tessa Langlands’ time of 44.52 seconds was good enough for third in 25-metre fly for seven-and-eight-year-old girls.
Cassie Love clocked a third-place time of 35.35 seconds in 25-metre breaststroke for seven-and-eight-year-old girls.
Morgen McClenaghan was third for 50-metre backstroke for nine-and-10-year-old girls (56.42).
Lauren Pack was top swimmer for 100-metre freestyle (1:16.21) for 11-and-12-year-old girls. She also earned thirds in 50-metre backstroke (44.11) and 50-metre breaststroke (48.64).
Rachel Pack finished in third for 400-metre freestyle (6:29.97) for 13-and-14-year-old girls.
Emma Richardson’s time of 1:17.66 was good enough for second in 100-metre breaststroke for 11-and-12-year-old girls. Richardson was third in both 200-metre freestyle (3:01.46) and 200-metre IM (3:32.24).
Dylan Saunders had a trio of second-place finishes in 100-metre freestyle (1:17.66), 50-metre freestyle (35.63) and 200-metre freestyle (3:03.78) for 13-and-14-year-old boys.
Renae Saunders dominated in 15-to-17-year-old girls, clocking best times in 50-metre fly (31.53), 100-metre backstroke (1:18.88) and 100-metre fly (1:15.76), along with a second in 50-metre backstroke (34.96).
Tayla Silver took second with a time of 36.79 seconds in 50-metre fly for 13-and-14-year-old girls.
Jayda Tymko earned a third-place time of 58.69 seconds for 50-metre breaststroke for nine-and-10-year-old girls.
Petra Tymko had top time in 25-metre backstroke (21.10), seconds in 100-metre IM (1:43.24) and 100-metre freestyle (1:37.08) and a third in 50-metre fly (44.05) for nine-and-10-year-old girls.
Dion Velarde took first in 50-metre backstroke (43.13) and third in 50-metre fly (43.37) for 11-and-12-year-old boys.
Don Velarde’s time of 25.63 seconds earned him second in 25-metre backstroke for seven-and-eight-year-old boys. He finished third in 25-metre freestyle (23.54).
Madison Waugh finished in second for 100-metre breaststroke (1:50.81) and third in 50-metre breaststroke (51.83) for 15-to-17-year-old girls.
It was the breaststroke Clarkson added the club needed to make the biggest improvements on with the difficult stroke to learn.
“Our biggest concern was the disqualifications in breaststroke. That is something that happens, especially with the younger kids because it is the most technically-advanced stroke to learn,” said Clarkson. “There is so much involved with it. But we are not disappointed with the DQs at all. Even though they are being disqualified for some minor technical issue, their breaststroke times they swam and how well they did are amazing.”
The club has instituted a buddy program this year in which Clarkson noted Viper Taylor Hutzul is really taking it to heart.
“She walks with her buddy to marshaling, helps her buddy to the race, helps her buddy by telling her what she’s doing in the water. She is just being an amazing role model and leader on the team,” said Clarkson.
The Taber Viper Swim Club is off to Lethbridge this weekend where there will be 42 Vipers competing.