HUNTSVILLE - More than 200 swimmers from across Ontario gathered at Huntsville’s Canada Summit Centre this past weekend to participate in the 11th annual Jesse Coward Winterlude. Athletes also enjoyed some Muskoka winter during an afternoon of winter activities at Camp Tawingo including snow tubing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and much more.
Taylor Smith of the Rocky Island Swim and Tri Club had a good showing at the annual Jesse Coward Winterlude meet this past weekend.
The Winterlude meet, hosted by the local Rocky Island Swim and Tri Club, honours Coward, a local swimmer, who was murdered in December 2001. The club contributes to a memorial fund set up in his name to financially support local youth to be able to get involved in the sport of swimming here in Huntsville.
The positive, high-energy competition supported great performances by local swimmers, who had an overall performance time reduction of 395 seconds, had five swimmers earning top three age group high point awards and overall 68 per cent achievement of personal best times.
One of the highlights of Winterlude this year was the setting of a new provincial short course (25 metre pool) record in the girls’ 11-12 100 metre backstroke event.
Penny Oleksiak of the visiting Toronto Swim Club, energized by the cheering of other swimmers, officials and spectators, raced to a time of 1:05.11, breaking the previous record of 1:05.71 set in 1994, 19 years earlier. This is certainly one swimmer to watch over the next four years leading into the 2016 Olympics.
The Fin Award was earned by Theo Pinckard who dropped a total accumulative 55.1 seconds off his swim performance times. Runners-up were Lara Armstrong (48.9 seconds) and Taylor Smith (36.7 seconds).
The performance award of the meet went to five Rocky Island swimmers who earned high point individual awards in their respective age groups.
Ally Goldring was top point winner in the girls’ 10 and under age group. Alex Griffiths was the top point winner in the boys’ 15 and over age group. Nathan Stafford was second in boys’ 13-14 age group and Ainsley Herr, along with Sheerise Dube, shared third place overall in the girls’ 13-14 age group.
Alicia McLinden, Celeste Dupuis and Caitlyn Gill qualified for Huronia Regional short course championships at Winterlude, joining 19 of their teammates already qualified to represent Rocky Island Swim and Tri Club in Barrie, Feb. 1 to 3.
— Submitted by the Rocky Island Swim and Tri Club