The Summerland Orca Swim Team made a name for themselves Nov. 26 to 27.
Turning out in droves, 14 regional swimmers and 35 jamboree swimmers were out to make a splash at the Kelowna Aquajets Fall Classic at the H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre.
For many Orca swimmers, this was their first jamboree meet and regional meet with finals.
The young swimmers earned 23 top-three performances and a record book full of personal bests. The fourteen more experienced Regional swimmers won eight top three finishes.
The Kelowna facility is a 50 metre pool with a bulkhead dividing it into two 25 metre pools, so the swimmers find the grand atmosphere energizing.
“There is so much excitement in the air, and buzzing of adrenaline that it’s hard not to get pumped up to race,” said head coach Joanne Malar. “I drove home from the meet and I couldn’t help recounting all the great swims, fantastic relays races and happy faces on our swimmers. It was priceless.”
The Orca Swim Team has been rebuilding this year with a change in coaching staff and a refreshing approach to competitive swimming.
“We’ve been having such a great start to the year, getting the kids excited to swim, teaching them how to race and improve their strokes,” Malar said. “We are building a competitive club that centers around team spirit, fun, positive energy and great work ethic.”
Sticking to her game plan, Malar finds the results are flowing in.
On the boys development team, Keegan Foley, 11 was a standout winning three golds in the Boys 11-12 200M Individual Medley (IM), 50 and 100 Freestyle and second in his 50 Breaststroke.
His brother, Tieran Foley, 10 also struck gold in his 50 Freestyle for boys 10 and under and won two third place results in the 200 IM and 100 Freestyle.
Heming Sola, eight, racked up an age category, 10 and under, and still won two golds in the 50 Breastroke and 100 Freestyle. He added another silver and bronze in his 25 Butterfly and 50 Backstroke.
Luc Benoit earned gold in the 50 Backstroke for 11- to 12-year-old boys and took home three silvers in the 200 Individual Medley, 50 Freestyle and 100 Freestyle.
Other male Orca medal winners were Ben Geertz, 10, William Rodriguez, eight and Noah Russill, seven.
On the development girls’ team, seven-year-old Jordyn Emshay won gold in the 25 Butterfly for 8 and Under while teammate seven-year-old Tayla Ingram earned silver in the 25 Backstroke.
Alexandra Webb, eight, won the bronze in the 10 and Under 50 Breastroke and Claire Kenzie won silver in the 50 Freestyle.
At the Regional meet, Annmarie Lang-Hodge, 12, was a double medalist, winning two bronzes in the 50 Freestyle and 50 Breastroke.
Madison Hilger-som, 11, won bronze in the 100 Backstroke for 11- to 12-year-olds and swam a total of 14 races.
“Traditionally our girls’ team has always produced great swimmers,” Malar said. “It’s nice to be seeing those same results with the boys’ team as well.”
Daniel Nixon, 12, added four medals to his collection, winning two silvers (50 and 100 Freestyle) and two bronzes (50 Breastroke, 50 Butterfly) in the boys 11 and 12 category while Lewis Hugh Jones, 14, earned a spot in six finals.
All regional swimmers swam to personal bests. They are Julia Belmonte, 13, Haley Berrisford, 11, Caylum Foley, 15, Jaedyn Foley, 13, Chloe Harrold, 11, Isabella Havers, 12, Elia Rodriguez, 13, Emma Russill, 11, Joshua Webb, 11 and Lauren Sawchuk, 12.