Hay River hosts Elks’ Invitational swim meet

Jaidyn Bourdages swims back crawl at the 7th Annual Elks' Invitational swim meet at the Don Stewart Recreation Centre Nov. 17. Photo by Sarah Ladik NNSL

Jaidyn Bourdages swims back crawl at the 7th Annual Elks’ Invitational swim meet at the Don Stewart Recreation Centre Nov. 17.
Photo by Sarah Ladik
NNSL

Although the Hay River Lions Swim Club finished just behind the Yellowknife Polar Bears Swim Club at the seventh annual Elks’ Invitational swim meet, Lions head coach Kelvin Yee still considers the weekend a success.
“Everything is going good,” Yee told The Hub. “All the kids are doing well, achieving personal bests, taking off time, and having a blast.”
Megan Buhler won the Girls 11-12 100-metre freestyle event, while Sara Gibbons took second in the 15 and over 100-metre freestyle. Quinn St. John came first in the Boys 11-12 100-metre freestyle, with Graham St. John and Simon Pittman coming in first and third in the Boys 13-14 event.
The Yellowknife team beat the Lions overall by 200 points, but also had the advantage of eight more swimmers.
Despite her win, Buhler said she wasn’t sure of achieving a personal best on Nov. 17, but was having fun nonetheless.
“I’m feeling confident because I think I’m going fast,” she said. “I have to work on being more consistent in my kicking.”
Her older sister Allie Buhler said she was also pleased with her performance, but wanted to work on her turns and on her dives, as she has a tendency to go a bit deeper than she should.
“I took a minute off my time in a race today,” she said. “I’ve had a personal best today in almost every swim, so I’m happy. I tried my best.”
The meet brought in about 50 swimmers from the NWT and Alberta, in addition to 27 from Hay River, for a total of close to 80 athletes.
Jaimie Gaudreau, coach of the team from Peace River, Alta., said that, while she has only been to Hay River in the past three years, her team has been coming to the Elks’ Invitational since it started.
“It’s just a great opportunity for them,” she said. “We’re having a really good meet. It’s usually a good bonding experience for them and one of their favourite meets of the year.”
Yee also noted the atmosphere of friendly competition at the weekend’s event, relating how at a previous meet the Lions had stolen the Polar Bear club’s mascot and should expect retaliation this time around.
“It’s the atmosphere of friendly rivalry that’s really great,” he said. “They create friendships here and it’s nice that kids from different teams get together and talk about how their training is going. The bonding is great.”
While they didn’t beat the Yellowknife club this time, Yee said that overall the training program is working.
“If we had seen they weren’t getting personal bests, we would have had to re-evaluate,” he said.
The season is now in its ninth week and Yee would like to focus his team on endurance going into meets in Peace River in January and Yellowknife the following month.
The coach said he appreciates everyone who came out to watch and cheer on the swimmers at the weekend meet.
“Contrary to what you hear, the swimmers may not be able to hear voices in the water, but they can feel the vibration of the crowd and that really helps get them going,” he said. “This is the only swim meet we host and there’s definitely a home-team advantage.”

–Sarah Ladik

 

Although the Hay River Lions Swim Club finished just behind the Yellowknife Polar Bears Swim Club at the seventh annual Elks’ Invitational swim meet, Lions head coach Kelvin Yee still considers the weekend a success.

Everything is going good,” Yee told The Hub. “All the kids are doing well, achieving personal bests, taking off time, and having a blast.”

Megan Buhler won the Girls 11-12 100-metre freestyle event, while Sara Gibbons took second in the 15 and over 100-metre freestyle. Quinn St. John came first in the Boys 11-12 100-metre freestyle, with Graham St. John and Simon Pittman coming in first and third in the Boys 13-14 event.

The Yellowknife team beat the Lions overall by 200 points, but also had the advantage of eight more swimmers.

Despite her win, Buhler said she wasn’t sure of achieving a personal best on Nov. 17, but was having fun nonetheless.

I’m feeling confident because I think I’m going fast,” she said. “I have to work on being more consistent in my kicking.”

Her older sister Allie Buhler said she was also pleased with her performance, but wanted to work on her turns and on her dives, as she has a tendency to go a bit deeper than she should.

I took a minute off my time in a race today,” she said. “I’ve had a personal best today in almost every swim, so I’m happy. I tried my best.”

The meet brought in about 50 swimmers from the NWT and Alberta, in addition to 27 from Hay River, for a total of close to 80 athletes.

Jaimie Gaudreau, coach of the team from Peace River, Alta., said that, while she has only been to Hay River in the past three years, her team has been coming to the Elks’ Invitational since it started.

It’s just a great opportunity for them,” she said. “We’re having a really good meet. It’s usually a good bonding experience for them and one of their favourite meets of the year.”

Yee also noted the atmosphere of friendly competition at the weekend’s event, relating how at a previous meet the Lions had stolen the Polar Bear club’s mascot and should expect retaliation this time around.

It’s the atmosphere of friendly rivalry that’s really great,” he said. “They create friendships here and it’s nice that kids from different teams get together and talk about how their training is going. The bonding is great.”

While they didn’t beat the Yellowknife club this time, Yee said that overall the training program is working.

If we had seen they weren’t getting personal bests, we would have had to re-evaluate,” he said.

The season is now in its ninth week and Yee would like to focus his team on endurance going into meets in Peace River in January and Yellowknife the following month.

The coach said he appreciates everyone who came out to watch and cheer on the swimmers at the weekend meet.

Contrary to what you hear, the swimmers may not be able to hear voices in the water, but they can feel the vibration of the crowd and that really helps get them going,” he said. “This is the only swim meet we host and there’s definitely a home-team advantage.”