Bluefish Training Pays Off

The busy and successful 2016-2017 season continues for the Arnprior Bluefish Swim Club (ABSC) at the Nick Smith Centre. Positive results at three recent meets have shown that the hard work of the swimmers and the guidance of their coaches is paying off.

In mid January the team travelled to Perth for the Mike Brown Invitational.. This 3 day event included races in length up to the 1500m freestyle. The Bluefish had 25 swimmers attend, the largest number for any meet in 10 years. The Bluefish swimmers achieved 93 personal best times over the 3 days, with 20 swims resulting in Regional Qualifying times. Among the team highlights Abby Harrod dropped a full 54 seconds off her previous personal best, resulting in an 11:56 time for the 800m freestyle (FS). Alex Rowe finished with an outstanding 19:52 in the 1500m freestyle. And in 6 events Clayton Williamson dropped a full 75 seconds off his personal bests. From this meet 4 Bluefish swimmers qualified for the 2017 Eastern Regional Championships.

Held February 3rd to 5th in Belleville, the 2017 Eastern Ontario Short Course Regional
Championships introduced a much more challenging qualifying standard. Each of the 4 Bluefish who qualified, had to do so in at least 3 events in order to attend. This put the. In competition at a very high level. Over 500 of the fastest swimmers from 19 teams across Eastern Ontario were in attendance. Bluefish team highlights included:

Jordan Schaepper, at age 9 qualified and swam in 7 events and achieved 5 personal best times, including a 16 second improvement in both 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley (IM). Hadleigh Williamson age 12, like Jordan, in her first Regional Championship swam in 7 events and had 3 personal best times and 2 events within 1 second of her best time, as well as a very admirable 8th place finish in Breast stroke. A great accomplishment for her first Regional. Alex Wroe age 13, swimming in his 4th consecutive Regional swam in in 7 events. The format for swimmers age 13 and older is like the Olympics; each Swim their events in a preliminary race and the top 16 swimmers then compete again the same evening, with the exception being the longer events (over 400m) which are only swum once. Alex qualified for 3 finals and was an alternate for 2, improving his personal best time in every event. Cameron Shepherd age 15 also qualified for his 4th consecutive Regional Championship but was unable to compete as he was away on a student exchange.

Later in February the team traveled to the Brewer Pool in Ottawa to take part in the Swim to The Beat SWOTT meet. With 21 swimmers from the Bluefish in attendance, they raced in 60 swims. Another very successful day, cheered on by family and teammates, and DJ Pumping dance music, the swimmers had 40 personal best times. As well, the Bluefish had 34 podium finishes: 13 first place, 9 second place and 12 third place. The highlight Swim of the meet was Hadleigh Williamson who swam the 200m Freestyle in 2:50.49 which was 52 seconds faster than her time in the same event 1 year earlier.

With one short rest over March break, the training continued, again paying off with great result at the recent Ontario Youth Olympians, Long Course Swim Meet at the Nepean Sports Complex, held April 9th. This was the one and only Long Course Swim Meet of the year, 50 meter pool, other than Long Course Regionals; the longer 50m pool is much more challenging than competing in the shorter 25m pools.

Of the 17 Bluefish swimmers, 8 were in their first long-course competition. Out of 99 total swims, Bluefish achieved 55 personal best times.  We had 5 swimmers that posted 5 out of 6 personal best times,  They include Hannah Gillett, Liam Gillett, Ava Hammond, Trinity Kaerbye and Tate McIntyre. There are currently have 4 Bluefish swimmers, Anna McMaster, Jordan Schaepper, Alex Wroe and Cameron Shepherd qualified to compete at the upcoming Long Course Regional Championships to be held at the Nepean Sportsplex on Jun 2-4, 2017. There are also 3 swimmers that are within striking distance of qualifying and have one last chance at Deep RIver Blackfly May 13/14. Along with numerous personal best times for all the Bluefish, top 3 finishes included: Alex Ambercrombie 3rd in 400m freestyle(FS); Liam GIllett 3rd in 50m Breaststroke; Mason Kenny 2nd in 200m breaststroke; Tate McIntyre 3rd 100m FS; Jordan Schaepper 1st in 200m and 400m FS, and 100m butterfly; Sam Wallace 3rd 200m breaststroke; Alex Wroe 1st in 400m FS and 3rd in 50m butterfly; Abby Harrod 2nd in 400m FS and 200m IM; and, Trinity Kaerbye with 3rd in 400m FS.

Training will be put to the test at the upcoming Blackfly Swim Meet in Deep River. But the real challenge will be May 15, 16 and 17th when the swimmers will complete the 2017 Swim-A-Thon. This event, held annually by Swim clubs across Canada raises funds to keep local teams and the Swim Canada program going and developing young athletes. This year the 60 Arnprior Bluefish Swimmers will each be attempting to Swim 5km in 2 hours.

To support this great team and the opportunities for these and future swimmers please do so at http://ontarioswimathon.ca/absc.

For more information about the ABSC, including registration forms, a gallery of images, and list of contacts, please visit their website at http://www.arnpriorbluefish.net.

Bluefish Cabi Donation

Rhonda McMaster, Cabi Stylist and Bluefish Parent, donated $356 to the swim club, a portion of proceeds from a recent fundraiser for the club – a Cabi Fashion Experience for Bluefish moms, grandmothers and friends.  On hand to accept the donation were, left to right, Jenn Wroe – Bluefish Vice President, Shawn Moffatt – Head Coach, Elena Williamson – Bluefish Swimmer, McMaster, and Noah Pritchard – Bluefish Swimmer.