Four competitive Arnprior Bluefish Swimmers competed at the Eastern Ontario SC Regional Championships at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre in Belleville, January 29-31 – Lauren Herter, Rylee Moffatt, Cameron Shepherd and Alex Wroe. Regionals is a qualification meet where swimmers must meet qualifying times in at least three swim events in order to attend. This year there were nineteen teams in attendance from all across eastern Ontario. It is a quite an achievement to make qualifying times for Regionals and compete against the fastest swimmers in eastern Ontario, and Bluefish qualifiers rose to the challenge.
In Herter’s first year attending Regionals, she swam seven events and had a wonderful result, with six personal best times (PBs). Most amazing is that she swam four of these events just three weeks earlier at a meet in Perth but still managed to drop a total of thirty-six seconds off her seven events.
It was Moffatt’s third consecutive year at Regionals and she had by far her most successful year, with seven out of eight PBs. Moffatt also made finals, in her 50 metre backstroke, her first Finals race at Regionals. This will likely be Moffatt’s last year at Regionals, as she is attending University next year, but she has been a true leader for the team for the past several years.
In his third consecutive year at Regionals, Shepherd swam seven events and made finals in all seven. This is a really an amazing achievement. All swimmers thirteen and older swim each of their events in a Preliminary race and the top sixteen swimmers compete again that same evening in an A or B final, just like at the Olympics. The pressure can be significant, as on Saturday night Shepherd swam three finals in under one hour. His best finish was his 100 metre freestyle where he went under one minute and finished in fourth place, just .03 seconds behind third place.
It was also Wroe’s third consecutive year at Regionals. He swam seven events and finished in the top eight in five of his seven races, with 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th place finishes. He also scored the most points for the team with 78, scoring points in each of his events- an outstanding performance.
Given Bluefish’s late start to the season for pool repairs, the team only had one swim meet for swimmers to make the qualification cut off – the Mike Brown Invitation Swim Meet in Perth, January 9-10th. So for Herter, Moffatt, Shepherd and Wroe to make the standard for the 2016 it was an extra special achievement.
The Bluefish team had some incredible results at the Perth Meet. Fifteen Bluefish swimmers competed in a total of 90 swims, achieving 74 personal best times. Shawn Moffatt, Head Coach of Bluefish said of this achievement: “Given the amount of time that they have had in the pool since the December 7th opening, this is really a special effort by our swimmers. They dropped a total time of 328.79 seconds off their times.”
Ten Bluefish swimmers swam to the top five finishes in individual events – Herter, Moffatt, Shepherd, Wroe, Anastacia GorBenko, Abby Harrod, Mason Kenny, Anna McMaster, Owen McMaster and Michelle Reid. Shepherd swam to four first place finishes, Wroe to two, and Anna McMaster to one in the Female 10 and under 200 metre breaststroke.
The next qualifying meet will be the Eastern Ontario Long Course Regional Championships at the Nepean Sportsplex in June, but all competitive Bluefish swimmers will have opportunities to compete at four additional swim meets before the end of the season. Many pre-competitive swimmers on the team are also looking forward to the Black Fly Swim Meet in May, in Deep River, which is an annual tradition and team building weekend for Bluefish’s pre-comp and comp swimmers alike.
More pictures from the meet can be found here.
More information about the Bluefish team can be found at www.arnpriorbluefish.net