The Red Deer Catalina Swim Club’s U15 Age Group swimmers were dominant at the 2016 Speedo Alberta Age Group Championships in Calgary last weekend as they brought home the Swim Alberta Medium Team Points Award banner among a number of individual awards.
“This meet is always really fun. It was kind of neat because we had a bunch of new faces, a bunch of younger kids who haven’t been to this meet before or this was only their second time attending this meet. So it was really fun to watch them get excited for their teammates and get excited for themselves and really work hard to earn some points together as a group,” said RDCSC Coach Mandi Smith of the 20 swimmers the Club brought to the meet.
Over the course of the three day long meet, which ran from Friday through Sunday this past weekend, Red Deer’s swimmers earned a total of 24 medals, including 16 golds, six silvers and two bronze.
“All the kids, they all performed at their best across the board,” Smith said.
Leading the way for RDCSC were 14-year-olds Elizabeth Moore and Kyla Leibel, who tied as the top point scorers among 14-year-old girls, as well as 15-year-old Josh Young, who was the top point getter among boys his age.
“I’m really happy because it shows my own improvement whenever I break my own records and always when you break a new record that you haven’t already held, it’s a really great feeling because that puts you as the fastest 15-year-old in Alberta ever at that point,” said Young, who also broke his own provincial records in the 15-year-old Boys’ 50m breast stroke and the 200m IM, as well as setting a brand new provincial record in the 100m IM on his way to six gold medals on the weekend.
“He was lots of best times, so best time this time of year is really, really great. That’s really exciting,” Smith said of Young.
That becomes even more important, she said, as Olympic Trials draw closer.
“Most of us leave the first couple of days of April. We’ve got four able-bodied and one paraswimmer that have qualified to attend the meet,” she said, adding those numbers are pretty exciting for the swim Club.
“It’s one of our largest groups of athletes that we’ve taken to the trials, so we’re pretty excited about that. Out of the age group program we don’t have anyone past the age of high school with us right now, so for an age group program that’s a pretty big number, especially when we’ve got five per cent of our athletes qualified to attend.”
The RDCSC also had six athletes qualify for the age group nationals for the first time this past weekend.
“We took 20 kids and those 20 kids were the ones who scored the points to bring home the banner,” Smith said.