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Terrace Bluebacks to host regionals

The Terrace Bluebacks get set to host the Northwest Regional Championships.
Bluebacks’ Brayden Phillips takes to the pool during one of the swim club’s regular practices.

The Terrace Bluebacks get set to host the Northwest Regional Championships.

It will be a three day event held at the Terrace Aquatic Centre, Jan. 28-30.

The Northwest Regionals are a type of swim meet that normally happen two to three times a year in the northwest, with Terrace usually hosting one in January.

Head swim coach Nesia Bare is expecting to see between 70-100 swimmers from five different clubs.

She said regional swim meets, as well as regular swim meets, are organized annually by the northwest swim club coaches.

“We try to have two or three a year,” Bare said, noting these regional meets are the big ones for northwest swim clubs, and also how swimmers qualify for provincials.

“It gets them ready for if they make AA, or AAA time for provincials,” Bare said.

The regionals are modeled after provincial swim meets to get swimmers used to the set up should they move on to the more competitive provincial setting.

Swimmers participating will not only be swimming to beat their personal best times, but to place in the top six of their age category, which will move them on to swim in the finals to be held Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

So far the club has participated in two regular swim meets, one in Prince Rupert and, more recently, the club travelled to Smithers to participate in the first ever BV Otters Winter Bliss invitational swim meet.

“All of the kids had a lot of fun, they were excited and the atmosphere was good,” said Jason Ruchotzke, assistant swim coach, about the event.

The club sent eight swimmers to the event, and five of them came home with medals.

“Swim meets are just a lot of fun,” said Bethany Burnett, who went to the meet and has been a member of the Bluebacks for three years.

Overall, the Bluebacks placed third, coming in behind the Bulkley Valley Otters, who took second, and the Prince Rupert Rapids, who took first.

Enrolment for the club has increased since the initial start of the season in September, which had 12 children sign up.

“It’s awesome, we are at 28 kids now,” Bare said. “It’s increasing, so that’s huge.”

Bare has also been working on the creation of an adult masters program in Terrace. It is a program that the club has had before but has since fallen to the wayside.

Currently the program has three members signed up and Bare is hoping to grow that number.

She recommends the adult masters program to those not only interested in swimming, but for triathlon training purposes as well.

“It’s hard work and dedication, but most important is having fun,” said Bare.