Windsor Bluefins prove to be small but mighty club

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The Windsor Bluefins have proven again that a small team can deliver big results, and, even make some history.

The Bluefins — based at the Hants Aquatic Centre — swam to the top of the small team category at the 2014 summer swimming provincials in Bedford Aug. 15-17.

It's the sixth consecutive year the team has earned the distinction, amassing 1,080 points, almost twice as many as the next highest small team, which was the East Hants Stingrays.

The Bluefins, under the direction of first-year head coach Taylor Russell, are relatively few in number. There were 14 swimmers at the provincial meet but the club has more than their share of powerful competitors.

Leading the way at provincials with five individual medals was Natasha Williamson, who is also an assistant coach with the team. She won three gold medals in the 17-and-over age category: 50-metre breaststroke, (41.89), 100-metre breaststroke (1.33.68) and 50-metre freestyle (31.09). She also garnered silver in 100-metre freestyle, and, bronze in the 50-metre butterfly.

Her brother, Robert Williamson, made quite a splash as well, snatching two gold medals in the 11-12 boys division for the 50-metre breaststroke (41.67) and 50-metre backstroke (36.87). Williamson added a silver medal in the 200-metre individual medley, and bronze in the 50-metre freestyle.

The Bluefins are fast becoming known in swimming circles as "team breaststroke" and the performances of Amy Lord are a big reason why.

In the girls 15-16 age category, Lord won gold medals in both the 50-metre and 100-metre breaststroke — setting a new Nova Scotia summer swimming record in the latter event, with a time of 1.22.63.

She also claimed bronze in the 200-metre individual medley.

Yet another clutch performer was Jacob Beaulieu, who took gold in the boys 17-and-over category for the 50-metre backstroke (33.98).

Beaulieu claimed silver medals for the 50-metre freestyle and 100-metre backstroke, and bronze in the 200-metre freestyle.

A determined effort by Meredith Chambers led to gold in the 13-14 girls 100-metre butterfly. Chambers added a bronze in the 50-metre breaststroke.

Freya Ferguson powered her way to bronze medals in the 15-16 girls 200-metre freestyle, and 400-metre freestyle.

Cassidy Lutes churned up bronze in the 50-metre backstroke (39.17) for girls aged 11-12 years.

The 15-and-over girls relay team of Lord, Chambers, Williamson, and Ferguson claimed silver and bronze medals.

Four members of the Windsor Bluefins were named to the provincial all-star team: the Williamson siblings, Lord, and Beaulieu.

Even team members who did not medal posted several personal best times, including, 14-year-old Chelsea Beaulieu and 11-year-old Briana Sexton.

The Bluefins' other up-and-comers also fared well. Samantha Brooks, Isabelle Lebrasseur, Sarah Hilborn, Amy Johnston, and Shelby Rideout made it clear with their impressive efforts that the Bluefins hope to be formidable for years to come.

The winning large team was the Bridgewater Barracudas, with 4,728 points, topping the Bedford Beavers (3,751) and Cole Harbour Hurricanes (3,408).


Organizations: Hants Aquatic Centre, Windsor Bluefins Swim Club, Windsor Bluefins

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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