Richmond Rapids Swim Club competed at the Swim B.C. Short Course AA Championships in Surrey, looking to put training into action against clubs from across the province.
"There were two goals," said head assistant coach Drew McClure. "The first is to get some experience in a heats and finals scenario, where swimmers must be fast in the morning to make finals, and then try to improve their races at night. The second is to push swimmers to qualify for AAA (provincials)."
The meet was the last opportunity to qualify for the Provincial AAA Championships, the highest level of B.C.-only competition of the season. Athletes are required to achieve time standards to attend, which are specific to age, gender, and event. Over the weekend, the Rapids had six new AAA qualifiers: Dini McIver, Amanda McCallum, Darren Ge, Lionel Hand, Jenna McDonald, and Angela Gu, pushing their total number of AAA qualifiers past 40.
The meet was also a success in standings, showing the club's ability to convert to strong races under pressure and fatigue.
"This is the first time some of the kids have been in finals, or they're qualifying for more finals than they have before. That's a major learning experience, racing that much. It takes a lot of mental toughness, and it's trial by fire," added McClure.
The club came home with 32 medals, 27 individual and five relay. Individual medalists are listed below.
The Rapids journey to Victoria Feb. 28 to race BC's best. For more information about the meet and the club, visit richmondrapids.com, or email swim@richmondrapids. com.
Sam Bhandal: Gold - 1500 Freestyle, Gold - 200 Butterfly. Darren Ge: Silver - 100 Breaststroke, Bronze 200 Breaststroke. Angela Gu: Gold - 100 Fly, Gold - 400 IM, Bronze - 50 Free, Bronze - 100 Free. Samantha Gosel: Bronze - 400 Free. Lionel Han: Gold - 100 Fly, Gold - 200 IM, Silver - 100 Back, Bronze - 100 Free, Bronze - 100 Breaststroke. Jessica Jones: Bronze - 100 Breaststroke. Chris Lam: Silver - 50 Free, Silver - 100 Free, Silver - 100 Back. Amanda McCallum: Gold - 200 Backstroke, Silver - 50 Free. Jenna McDonald: Gold - 50 Free. Dini McIver: Gold - 100 Breaststroke, Silver - 100 Back, Silver - 200 Back. Mauricio Soroco: Bronze - 100 Fly. Derek Wu: Silver - 1500, Silver - 400 IM.