After some well-deserved time off, the Richmond Rapids Swim Club is back in the water and racing.
Competition began with two regional level meets - one hosted by Simon Fraser Aquatics and attended by the program's 14 and under athletes - the other hosted by the Pacific Sea Wolves which featured the club's senior level swimmers.
Most of the younger swimmers were in a familiar environment, though it had been months since they had raced.
"The focus here was setting or re-setting the tone for competition," explained coach Drew McClure. "I wanted the swimmers to understand basic expectations, like maintaining technique, racing hard through the finish, and managing their hydration."
The idea was to set habits in place that will continue to build and become more sophisticated as the season progresses.
"We think about where we want our athletes to be at the end of July, and then break that down into basics and building blocks," said Head Age Group Coach Dennis Silva.
This was also the very first regional meet for several of the club's 8-to-10-year-olds. These swimmers were learning the very basics of competition.
"I was looking for the youngest ones to start learning autonomy - little things like watching for their heat and listening to the starter without any help from me or their parents," added Silva.
The meet was certainly considered successful, not only from the stated learning goals, but from regular time drops from everyone.
A pair of swimmers were able to achieve one of two required standards for major championship meets -Jonathan Wang for AA BC Championships and Samuel Pei for AAA BC Championships.
The club's senior athletes were in Surrey in a pure sprint environment, racing in age groups for an aggregate time score, the goal being to show speed proficiency over multiple strokes and distances.
Again, the Rapids were successful, both in number of personal best times and overall rankings.
Of the four age and gender categories that the Rapids had swimmers competing in, they won two of them, with Jerry Liu taking top prize for the 13-and-14 year-olds, and Nicolaas Dekker winning the Open class.
For more information on the Richmond Rapids Swim Club, you can visit their website at richmondrapids.com, or email email@example.com
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