Richmond Rapids Swim Club traveled to Victoria to compete in the Island Cup, a meet that regularly produces fast mid-season swimming.
A small but strong Rapids age group team was up against some of the best in the province, including a large and competitive team from Oregon and some local Olympians.
As a part of their training regimen, 1500m freestyle Olympic silver medalist Ryan Cochrane and Olympian Julia Wilkinson raced in Friday and Saturday preliminary sessions, and due to the magic of circle seeding, a few Rapids got a rare opportunity to line up against them.
It began with the 200 backstroke, where PAG1 swimmer Rich Rakchtis attempted to "gutter-ball" Cochrane with a fast first 100. Though the attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, it was certainly a race to remember. However, National Development swimmer Michael Jakac-Sinclair was able to give Cochrane a run for his money. Only just behind at the 50 wall after his best opener this season, Jakac-Sinclair tried to keep pace on the third 25, but Cochrane's years of distance training gave him the advantage on the back half. Finishing just at Cochrane's hip, Jakac-Sinclair certainly provided a race that surprised the London Games star.
The highlights weren't only dependent on the presence of a world-class athlete. Brandon Crawford annihilated his 100 breaststroke race in a 1: 09.95, qualifying him for Westerns and breaking the Rapids club record for 13-and-14-year-old boys. In the very same race, David Ng made his first age group national standard.
Overall, there was some really satisfying swimming for the Rapids, especially for this point in the season. It really came down to the Rapids desire to race, over than their physical preparation.
"The majority of the time, big swims in age group swimming come from mental preparation and devotion. It was really encouraging to see our swimmers step up," said head assistant coach Drew McClure.
Top three finishes for the meet included: Austin Berry: 12&U 200 breast (3rd), 12&U 1500 free (2nd), 12&U 50 breast (1st). Sam Bhandal: 12&U 800 free (1st). Brandon Crawford: 13-14 200 IM (1st), 13-14 200 breast (1st), 13-14 100 breast (1st), 13-14 400 IM (2nd). Ryan Murray: 12&U 200 back (3rd), 12&U 1500 free (1st), 12&U 50 back (3rd), 12&U 400 IM (3rd). David Ng: 13-14 200 breast (3rd), 1314 100 breast (2nd), 13-14 50 breast (1st). Richard Rakchtis: 12&U 200 breast (1st), 12&U 1500 free (3rd).