Clare swimmers medal at junior provincials

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
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Aquadiens de Clare swimmers Mattea LeBlanc and Nick Theriault combined for seven gold medals at junior provincials.

LeBlanc finished the provincial meet with five gold medals and Theriault won two gold medals and two silver.

Joel Comeau rounded out the medal haul with a bronze at the provincial championships, May 23 to 25, hosted by Shearwater Bluefin swim club in Shearwater.

Aquadiens coach Moira Brown said LeBlanc started the provincial meet like she wanted to own it and won every event she competed in.

“Mattea took seven seconds off her time in the 400m freestyle for a first place finish on the 23rd qualifying her for the East Coast Championships,” Brown said. “On the 24th she shaved three seconds off the 100m butterfly and five seconds off the 200 breaststroke for two more gold.”

On Sunday LeBlanc won the 200m butterfly with an amazing nine-second improvement and shortly after hit the water again for the 100m breaststroke, trimming her time down five seconds to win her fifth gold medal of the competition.

LeBlanc said she was excited over finishing so well at provincials.

“The 200 butterfly was the hardest race for me,” said LeBlanc. “There were 14 competitors but I was strong enough to stay ahead the whole time in the finals.”

LeBlanc not only won five gold medals but was awarded best overall for girls 13 to14 years.

“With such a medal haul, it's no wonder Mattea won best overall 13 to 14 year-old girl award,” said Brown. “But not to be out done, Nick Theriault took silver in the best overall in the 15 year-old boy category.”

“Nick won gold in the 200m breaststroke and 400m freestyle along with silver in the 100m and 50m breaststroke,” said Brown. “He rounded off the meet with a fourth place finish in the 50m freestyle showing there is much more to come from him next season.”

Theriault took more than five seconds off his 100m breaststroke and over two seconds in the 50m freestyle and breaststroke said Brown.

“Nick and Mattea will compete at the Ken Dunn meet and this will give Nick a chance to advance to the East Coast Championships,” said Brown.

Along with a bronze medal finish in the 200m breaststroke, Joel Comeau, one of the youngest Age group swimmers at 11 years old, shaved 10 seconds off his time in the race.

He swam to a fourth place finish in the 50m breaststroke.

Raianne McNeil had personal bests in the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley which was a great improvement for her this year said Brown.

Mackenzie Saulnier improved as a 400m freestyle swimmer taking over eight seconds off her time and also made best times in her 200 freestyle and 200 IM

Chloe Theriault improved her 50 freestyle time and Faith Turner-Anderson equalled her best time in the 50m back stroke.

Anya Vanclief, 11, had personal bests in the 50m butterfly, 50m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.

The junior provincial competition was the final meet of the season unless the swimmers qualified for the Ken Dunn meet held in Halifax the end of May or the East Coast Championships also held in Halifax the first weekend of July

Geographic location: Halifax

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