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Terrace’s Kelly Choi bags five medals at Edmonton swim meet

Combined Terrace and Prince Rupert team posts impressive times
A combined Terrace and Prince Rupert swimming squad competed at a prestigious Edmonton tournament. Left to right: Gabriel Ungehoer, Peter Joubert, Josh Joubert, Heidi Bellis, Kelly Choi and Iona Riesen. (Contributed photo)

Terrace Blueback swimmer Kelly Choi took home five medals, including one gold, at the prestigious Alberta provincial championship March 2 to March 5 in Edmonton.

Choi has just turned 13 and so was competing in the age 13-14 bracket for the first time, making her performances that much more eventful.

“Kelly won bronze medals in the 50 breaststroke, 100 breaststroke and 200 backstroke. She won the silver medal in the 100 freestyle and, in her most impressive swim of the weekend, grabbed the gold medal with a 2:25.88 200 individual medley,” reports coach Chris Street.

Achieving those results mean finishing in the top 10 of all seven individual events entered by the young swimmer. A time of 34.36 in the 50-metre breaststroke resulted in Kelly achieving a second junior qualifying time for the Canadian trials come up later in March.

Kelly isn’t quite finished with Alberta yet — she’s in Calgary this week at the Swim Canada Western Nationals. It’s her first experience at a national meeting.

Another Blueback, Gabriel Ungehojer, also 13, meant an “A” final with a tenth place finish in the 200 breaststroke.

“Gabe also added a pair of new Alberta Provincial Championship qualifying times with a 38.54 50 breaststroke and a 3:04.25 200 breaststroke,” said Street.

Prince Rupert swimmers also travelled to Edmonton with one, 14-year-old Heidi Bellis, making the podium with what Street called a “monster finals performance” to win the bronze medal in the 50 butterfly.

Previously she made the ‘B’ final list in the 50 free, 100 fly, 50 back, 100 free and 200 backstroke.

Heidi’s time of 29.68 in the 50 butterfly gave her a first qualifying time for Western Nationals in Calgary.

Peter Joubert, 15, from Prince Rupert, made three “A” finals. He finished sixth in the 800 freestyle, seventh in the 1500 freestyle and ninth in the 400 freestyle.

His older brother Josh, who is 18, was trying to fight off some illness but he still made a pair of “A” finals in the 200 IM and 200 butterfly by finishing ninth in both, Street said.

Rounding out the team was 16-year-old Iona Riesen from Prince Rupert. Iona’s best result was a 2:38.49 in the “B” final of the 200 butterfly. That earned her a thirteenth place finish.

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