WINDSOR, N.S. — Hundreds of swimmers and their fans converged on Windsor July 14 for the first invitational meet of the season.
The Windsor Bluefins hosted teams from across the province at the Hants Aquatic Centre for the all-day affair.
Like many coaches at the meet, Hayden Adams could be spotted pacing up and down the swim deck cheering on his club's athletes.
Adams, the Bluefins' head coach, said he was pleased with the results right from the get-go.
“It's exciting, especially since it's the first meet of the season. You never really know what to expect with the first meet — a lot of these kids have been out of the water for nine months,” said Adams.
“We've had some really great races, not just from our swimmers but all the teams seem to be doing really well.”
Teams from across the province came to Windsor to participate, including the well-known swim clubs like the Bridgewater Barracudas, East Hants Stingrays, Kentville Marlins, Milton Dambusters, and Waeg Waves.
The stands were packed with spectators, the adjacent Elmcroft Park filled with vehicles and swim team tents. Nearly every available parking spot on the roads near the Hants Aquatic Centre was claimed.
“For the community of Windsor itself, I think it's nothing but good. Local businesses are going to benefit from that,” said Adams. “I think it's a really nice thing to have this big, rowdy event on the weekend. We had lots of community members just drop in and say 'what's going on at the pool today?' I can guarantee there were people in the stands that weren't affiliated with swimmers.”
Adams said the Bluefins have a slight advantage over some of the teams in the province in that they can start practicing earlier in the season.
“We've actually got a bit of an advantage because we have a heated pool so we're able to get in in the first week of June whereas some teams just got in last week,” said Adams, adding he's witnessed some very positive practices.
Adams said he foresees a strong team this season and he hopes more youth will consider joining the club.
“I think swimming is just a great, great sport to get involved with” said Adams, noting members don't have to compete if they don't want to.
While the club is open to swimmers age five to 18 years, Adams said if "you can swim the length of a pool, you're good to go and we will work with you.”
One of the highlights for the day, Adams said, was seeing some of the younger members qualify to compete in the 100-metre individual medley.
“I'm also super pumped for Rachel Hillborn, Charles Faucher and Patrick Tremblay, who all achieved their 50-metre freestyle participation times,” said Adams, noting the trio finished the freestyle within 55 seconds.
“All three of them achieved that this morning, which means they can compete in the 100-metre individual medley, which is a 25-metre butterfly, a 25-metre backstroke, a 25-metre breaststroke and a 25-metre freestyle.”
The following are some of the top performances by local athletes. For full results, see swimnovascotiacom.
Boys 13-14 50 SC Metre Breaststroke
2nd — Luc VanFeggelen, Marlins, 42.78
Girls 15 & Over 50 SC Metre Breaststroke
2nd — Isabelle Lebrasseur, Bluefins, 38.83
4th — Emma Jane Hockley, Marlins, 40.76
Girls 15 & Over 100 SC Metre Freestyle
2nd — Haley Cross, Marlins, 1:11.07
4th — Cassidy Lutes, Bluefins, 1:11.38
Boys 13-14 50 SC Metre Butterfly
2nd — Robin Domingo, Marlins, 30.76
Girls 15 & Over 50 SC Metre Butterfly
5th — Haley Cross, Marlins, 35.07
Boys 11-12 50 SC Metre Backstroke
4th — Ryan Spence, Bluefins, 44.81
5th — Ben Robson, Stingrays, 47.24
Boys 13-14 100 SC Metre Backstroke
4th — Robin Domingo, Marlins, 1:22.83
Girls 15 & Over 100 SC Metre Backstroke
3rd — Cassidy Lutes, Bluefins, 1:26.15
Girls 17 & Over 200 SC Metre IM
1st — Haley Cross, Marlins, 2:58.28
Boys 11-12 200 SC Metre IM
3rd — Ty Cleveland, Bluefins, 3:42.87
5th — Martin Heukshorst, Stingrays, 3:55.70
Boys 13-14 200 SC Metre IM
3rd — Robin Domingo, Marlins, 2:50.13