HOMETOWN SWIM MEET..
The Muskoka Aquatic Club scored top times, a fistful of medals and a number of qualifying positions for provincial championships during a Swim to Win competition at the Sportsplex this past weekend. Pictured here are some of the swimmers from that event. From left to right are swimmers Julie Bodendistel, Nathan Griffioen, Jenna Hoehner-McEwen, Melinda Hubert, Emily Scott, Emily Hubert, Sam Kuntz, Jesse Gautier and Emma Barnes. (Photo by Louis Tam)
Bracebridge’s star swimmers literally swam to win at a hometown tournament this past weekend.
Swimmers from the Muskoka Aquatic Club (MUSAC) posted an impressive string of results during a Swim to Win competition at the Sportsplex on Nov. 24 and 25. Rivals came from as far away as Toronto and Uxbridge to take part in the event, which ended up largely dominated by Bracebridge swimmers.
“We had some very fast swimming from both our older and younger swimmers. We won quite a few events and had several swimmers attain qualifying standards for higher-level meets,” MUSAC head coach Morgan Kierstead said in an email. “For many of our younger swimmers, it was their second swim meet ever, and many of them did a great job.”
Star MUSAC swimmers Hailey Morris, Melinda Hubert and Nathan Griffioen earned qualifying spots for upcoming provincial competitions, and took home a total of six medals. Swimmer Emma Barnes also finished with four gold medals at the event.
“Sam Kuntz, Jenna Hoehner-McEwen and Jesse Gautier all qualified for the Huronia Regional Championships in the 50-metre freestyle, as did Emily Hubert, breaking the 29-second mark for the very first time – a huge feat for a 13-year-old,” said Kierstead. “James Olson-Keating, 10, qualified for the Huronia Regional Championships in both the 100-metre freestyle and 100-metre breaststroke.”
First-year swimmer Andrew Spalding also qualified for the same championship in the 100-metre breaststroke event.
A number of honourable mentions included eight-year-old MUSAC swimmer Catrice Black, who came in fifth place in the 50-metre breaststroke and eighth place in the 100-metre breaststroke while competing in the age 10-and-under category.
Brawnwyn Shaw, also eight years old, placed eighth in the 50-metre backstroke, breaking the one-minute barrier for the first time by clocking in at 56.18 seconds. Another MUSAC swimmer, Abby Scott, won the 400-metre freestyle event in the 11-and-12-girls age group with a time of five minutes and 57 seconds, breaking the six-minute mark for the first time. In that same event, first-year swimmer Kate-Lynne Hinksman placed third.
Those feats were mirrored by 12-year-old Breanna Carroll, who won the 800-metre freestyle and the 200-metre individual medley, on top of securing a silver medal in the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyles and 100-metre fly events.
The club is now looking to repeat their impressive performances at the Team Championships competition in Sudbury in mid-December, where clubs from across the province will be bringing their 30 fastest swimmers. Kierstead said MUSAC will be bringing 26 swimmers to the event, where swimmers are divided into three divisions.
“Currently we’re in division two; we’re at the bottom end of division two so we’re trying not to get knocked down to division three,” said Kierstead. “We’re trying to keep our spot in division two.”