Clare swimmers make good showing at Halifax meet

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By Karla Kelly 

Mattea LeBlanc finished third in two of her swims as swimmers from Les Aquadiens de Clare made a good showing with at the Ken Dunn Invitational swim meet at Dalplex in Halifax this month.

LeBlanc and Nick Theriault from the Age Group division were the only two local swimmers who qualified for the event, which offers stiffer competition than previous meets the pair have been in this year.

LeBlanc, who competed in five events, clinched third spot in the 13-14 year old girls’ 200-metre butterfly and the 400-m freestyle.

Team coach Moira Brown felt LeBlanc’s placing showed how much talent the young swimmer has, especially after hard competition the week before at Junior Provincials.

“Mattea managed to better her times in each of the five events and she made the finals in four,” said Brown. “She placed fifth in the 200-m breaststroke and 100-m butterfly as well as sixth in the 50-m breastroke.”

Theriault, who is in his first full year as an Age Group swimmer, had personal best times in five of his six events.

“Nick’s best placing was sixth in the 200-m breaststroke,” Brown said. “In the 400-m freestyle, which was a new swim for Nick, he surprised himself making the finals, taking off 10 seconds and coming in eighth in a strong field of men.”

He also made B finals in the 100-m breaststroke, finishing ninth overall.

Theriault was the youngest competitor in the 15 and older category, and said the competition was intense.

“I was the youngest in all the races and had to swim against some very big and strong swimmers,” he said. “I was proud to have qualified for the meet and what I was able to accomplish.”

Brown said both swimmers made huge advances in their swimming performances this year and LeBlanc will finish off the season competing in the the East Coast Long Course meet in Halifax on the first weekend of July.

“Mattea was the lone qualifier for the East Coast meet and she will be up against very strong competition from all four provinces,” she said. “Once this event is over, the team will take a summer break before starting up again in September.”

Organizations: Dalplex, Age Group division

Geographic location: Halifax

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