By Greg Price
There were 21 Taber Viper Swim Club members who made their way to the Fort Macleod pool this past weekend with 17 top times recorded in various events.
Pretty solid considering the taxing nature of battling the elements along with your fellow competitors in an outdoor pool.
“We’ve been in outdoor pools for the last three meets. It is really inconsistent for sure with outdoor pools,” said Sara Clarkson, head coach of the Taber Viper Swim Club. “It all depends on the weather. If it’s cold, that means you are worried about your muscles getting cold and not being ready for the races. If it’s too warm, you are worried about heat exhaustion and just being tired being out in the sun all day and getting sunburnt.”
The meet started in the 20s for Celsius for temperature and creeped itself to 30-plus at its peak.
“I think this weekend was hard for a lot of the Vipers. We are in full summer mode with some going on vacation and people are more relaxed where I feel it too. When you get into July, swimmers relax a bit,” said Clarkson. “The way we are pushing swimmers is through practice. If they can take time off their personal bests, awesome, but we are not expecting it right now, as we are really pushing them in practice and getting them ready for regionals, and tailoring their performances towards that.”
Jessica Anderson took top time for 50-metre fly (36.50) for 13-and-14-year-old girls. She also managed second-place times in 100-metre fly (1:31.29), 50-metre backstroke (40.25) and 100-metre backstroke (1:23.55).
Rebecca Carver finished ahead of the whole pack for 25-metre breaststroke (24.03). She also earned second-place finishes in a 100-metre freestyle (1:33.24), and 25-metre backstroke (23.45) for nine-and-10-year-old girls.
Jordyn Clarke clocked in second place for 1,500-metre freestyle (27:40.76) for 17-and-under girls.
Sara Clarkson took top times in 100-metre freestyle (1:18.08), 100-metre breaststroke (1:37.63), and 50-metre fly (40.83). She was also second in 50-metre breaststroke (45.24) for 18-and-over girls.
Taylor Hutzul was top swimmer in 25-metre flutterboard (28.88) for seven-and-eight-year-old girls.
Jacob Paul’s time of 33.81 seconds was good enough for second place in 25-metre flutterboard for seven-and-eight-year-old boys.
Renae Saunders swept all the individual races she went in for 15-to-17-year-old girls, taking top times in 50-metre backstroke (36.02), 50-metre fly (32.42), 100-metre backstroke (1:20.61) and 100-metre fly (1:17.86).
Tayla Silver managed a second-place finish in 50-metre fly (36.98) for 13-and-14-year-old girls. She also earned a third-place finish in 50-metre backstroke (42.03).
For 18-and-over girls, Elsa Talonen finished in third place in four events, including 50-metre freestyle (49.06), 50-metre backstroke (1:07.87), 100-metre freestyle (1:51.88) and 50-metre breaststroke (1:03.00).
Jayda Tymko was top swimmer in 25-metre backstroke (22.69) for nine-and-10-year-old girls. She also earned second-place finishes for 50-metre breaststroke (55.70) and 50-metre backstroke (46.29).
In the same age category, Petra Tymko was top swimmer in both 50-metre backstroke (44.69) and 50-metre breaststroke (53.27). Petra was also second in 100-metre IM (1:43.46) and third in 50-metre freestyle (42.34).
Dion Velarde was top swimmer in 50-metre fly (46.45) for 11-and-12-year-old boys. He was also second in 50-metre breaststroke (45.92).
Don Velarde had a trio of first-place finishes for seven-and-eight-year-old boys, including 25-metre freestyle (20.20), 25-metre backstroke (25.20), and 25-metre breaststroke (28.03).
Madison Waugh’s time of 1:49.70 was good enough for third place in 100-metre breaststroke for 15-to-17-year-old girls.
“I find that a lot of our swimmers are doing really good at their long events. They are being very consistent with their splits which is amazing. That’s always what you want to see in longer events,” said Clarkson. “It is very important to have consistent splits throughout.”