Orca swimmers compete in provincials

Nine Summerland Swimmers participated in two B.C. Provincial Championships.

Nine Summerland Swimmers participated in two B.C. Provincial Championships.  Tayla Ingram, 11; Heming Sola, 11; Keagan Ingram, 12 and Haley Berrisford, 14, took part in the AA Provincials in Kamloops June 26 to 28.

Close to 250 athletes from all over the province participated in the three-day event.

The Summerland foursome walked away with eight medals and six club records.

Tayla Ingram won bronze in the 100 metre backstroke.

Heming Sola earned gold in the 400 metre freestyle and silver in the 50 metre, 200 metre and 800 metre freestyle.

Haley Berrisford earned gold in the 400 metre free and 400 metre individual medley and silver in the 800 metre free. All were club records.

Keagan Ingram earned club records in the 100 metre, 200 metre and 400 metre freestyle.

A week later, five Summerland athletes participated in the AAA Provincial Championships in Victoria’s Saanich Commonwealth Pool.

This is the highest level provincial swimming competition.  Holden Berrisford, 11; Connor Berrisford, 11; Taylor Smith, 12; Brooklyn Parliament, 13 and Brittany Parliament, 16 represented Summerland and the Orca Swim Club.

Head co-coaches Joanne Malar and Delano Ducheck were proud of all of their performances.

“Our Summerland Orca swimmers rose to the challenge. It was like a snow ball effect as one swimmer’s performance would inspire the next one to race,” Malar said. “Their results show their fitness levels, stamina, and determination.”

Taylor Smith had a breakthrough meet, making two second swims with a top finish of 10th and qualifying for age group nationals.

Age group nationals is the top level meet for Canadian Swimmers 16 and under.  Smith is the first age group qualifier in the last three years.

She qualified in three events: the 50 metre backstroke, 50 metre breaststroke and 200 metre breaststroke.

“With over 700 of the best swimmers participating in the Victoria meet, qualifying for a consolation final is quite an achievement,” Ducheck said.

In the meet in Victoria, current Olympic athletes were training at the same pool in between competition sessions.  One Olympic medalist got a lot of attention.

“It was definitely cool to see the kids’ reaction when they saw Ryan Cochrane training.”

The two-time Olympic silver medalist was fine-tuning before the Pan Am games in Toronto this week.

The final day of the AAA Championships was the Open Water competition.  Two ORCA swimmers competed, Connor Berrisford raced the 1,000 metre  and sister Haley Berrisford raced the 2,000 metre race.

Both finished in personal best times.

Orca Swim Club registration for the 2015-2016 season will commence in August online at orcaswimclub.net or contact coaches for more information at orcaswimcoach@gmail.com.