Top swimmers qualify for championships

The Summerland Orca Swim Team had three swimmers qualify for the B.C. AAA Swimming Championships.

The Summerland Orca Swim Team had three swimmers qualify for the B.C. AAA Swimming Championships — a competition that brings the best age group swimmers from around the province.

Daniel Nixon, 14, Haley Berrisford, 12, and Jamie Ferguson, 16, all competed  in the five-day swim meet July 4 to 8 at the UBC Aquatic Centre.

“The energy was electric on the pool deck, since the competition took place indoors and outdoors.  It felt like an Olympic outdoor venue and our swimmers rose to the challenge with many personal bests,” said interim head coach Delano Ducheck.

Berrisford placed fourth in the Open Water 2000m race, seventh in the 800m freestyle and 12th in the 400 Freestyle.

“This was the first time an Orca swimmer raced in the open water event, and her triathlon experience gave her extra confidence going into the race,” Ducheck said.

Ferguson placed 10th in the 100m backstroke, 12th in the 200m backstroke, and 18th in the 200m breaststroke.

“Jamie is on track to peak at her biggest meet of the year in two weeks, the Junior National Championships in Montreal,” Ducheck said.

“She was using this meet as a preparatory meet and was pleased with her performances and racing.”

Nixon was a first time qualifier at these provincials and was four-out-of-four for personal best times and placed 14th in the sprint freestyle event.

“Danny has progressed so quickly since starting swimming only two-and-a-half years ago,” Ducheck said.  “At the beginning of the season he hadn’t broken the 30 second barrier for the 50 free and now he’s three full seconds under it.”

For those interested in joining the Orca Swim Club, information for new swimmers can be found at  www.orcaswimclub.net.

Last year there was a waiting list for the popular four-month introductory bootcamp for new swimmers, and Orca is expecting the turnout to be just as high this year.