The Terrace Bluebacks swim club sent another full team of 26 athletes to the Prince Rupert Wrap Up Meet May 31 – June 2, taking third and moving ahead of the Bulkley Valley Otters for the first time this season.
Brayden Phillips once again dominated the 10 & Under category winning every race he was entered in and taking the gold medal.
And Jade Heathfield put in a string of top performances to snag the bronze medal and serve notice that after just one season of competitive swimming she is ready to take on the best in the region.
Heathfield recently moved to Terrace from Calgary, where she swam, but not competitively. She said she was “surprised” to win, but coach Mike Christensen seemed less surprised, saying the 100 m kick race is her specialty and “one of the best in the club.”
As a team, this year’s rebuild continues, with the young athletes competing to a level that saw them move up one rung in the team points with 475.5 points, ahead of the Otters’ 459 points.
But the hometeam Prince Rupert rapids once again showed their power in taking the team gold with 1,220 points and set the bar for the other teams to strive for, with the Kitimat Marlins hot on their heels with 973.5 points.
To close out the season the four teams combine as Points North to take on the AA & AAA provincials. Phillips will be traveling with the Prince Rupert crew for his first taste of the top tier AAA’s in provincial competition at UBC in Vancouver in July. This will be his first time in Vancouver, and he said he is ready for the challenge. To prepare he’s “starting to swim in the morning, working a bit harder, and the coach is getting pickier,” he said.
And while three athletes – Anke de Wit, Thomas Christensen and Ainslie Hollett – qualified for AA provincials in Victoria, they have other summer commitments preventing them from attending.
“We have a number of athletes knocking on the door for AAs but are just short of qualifying and will have to wait for next season,” said Christensen.
And the team also had a wrap-up barbeque last weekend to celebrate the season.