Monday, July 30, 2012

HHBF at Canadian National Championships

It was a LONG 2 weeks for me in Alberta as HHBF took part in Senior Nationals in Edmonton, then Canadian Age Group Championships in Calgary, AB.

Here are the highlights:

Kyle Haas finished 6th in 50BK at Senior Nationals in 50BK, breaking his own HHBF record with a time of 27.00. It was a great race for Kyle, who is coming off of a non-swimming related injury and is not 100% by far. He was also 10th in the 100BK (winning the B final in a time just faster than he was at Olympic Trials, but still not his best) and 20th in 200BK. Kyle finished 8th in 200BK, 6th in 100BK and 4th in 50BK in Calgary at Canadian Age Group Championships.

Matthew Fox managed a bronze medal in 200BK at Canadian Age Group Championships in Calgary. This was a surprisingly weak race across the board, as Matthew's best time would have won the event by about 2 seconds, but even Markus Thormyer of Vancouver (defending National Champion) was 2 seconds off of his best. The next night Matt finished 2nd in 50BK, breaking Kyle Haas' 13-14 year old club record with a time of 28.72. The next morning, Matt woke up and could not move his neck. It was very bad. I had him see Cascade's team therapist who confirmed it was just tightness, but the meet rules stated that we could not scratch, or would have to pay $50. Matt managed just enough to make it into the final (3rd) and swam through an easy 200FR, to avoid paying the scratch penalty. We did everything we could to make his comfortable but he was in a LOT of pain. That night, Matt came back in for the 100BK final and was unsure what to make of the situation; he was clearly injured and was not at his best, but was that an excuse? When would he have this opportunity again? Matt lead the race out FAST (turning at 29.79) and pushed to his limit.  At the 75m mark, Markus Thormyer made his move and pulled a meter ahead. Matt then found another gear and accelerated towards the wall. It all came down to the touch; Markus 1st 1:00.84, Matthew 2nd 1:00.85 (HHBF Club Record, 11th fastest time in Canadian history and 4th in Ontario History). That was honestly one of the toughest races I have seen anyone pull out and I was exceptionally proud of Matt, not only because of the risk he took, but because of the example he set for the rest of his team (in Calgary and at home). Matt broke the HHBF club record in 50FR (25.43) where he placed 6th and he also placed 6th in 100FR. He scratched the 400FR due to injury.

Mitchell Krafczek had a great meet in Calgary where he set a season best in 200BK (2:22.38), equaled his best in 100BK, and broke the 30 second barrier in 50BK for the first time (29.96). Mitchell's HUGE races though were 100BR (1:13.91, PB by about 2.8 seconds) and 200BR (2:43.81, which is the 2nd fastest HHBF time EVER). Great finish to the season for Mitchell!

Keri-Lyn Copeland (in her Canadian Age Group Championships debut) had best times in 100FR and 100BK. Aysia Leckie (also in her debut) finished 13th in 50FR, 100FR and 200FR. For these 2, the meet was very overwhelming and was about experience more than anything else. They both have many years left at the National Age Group level and will make their marks in years to come.

In their National Age Group Championship Finales (they will be too old next season), Elizabeth Skuriat broke her own HHBF record in 100BK and finished right on top of her time in 200BK. Aaron Brautigam was just on top of his 50FR and 100FR times and best times in 50BR, 100BR and 200BR. Aaron will begin school at the University of Ottawa in September (hopefully swimming) and Elizabeth will return to Wolfville, NS to continue her studies at Acadia where she will continue to swim.

HHBF finished the meet in 54th place out of 189 teams that participated. While it was not as high as we finished last season (when we were not riddled by injuries), we did finish very close to Newmarket (53rd) and Club Warriors (54th) and ahead of many teams that beat us at Division 2 Team Champs in April. I am very happy about the season and am proud of every Blue Fin. See you in a month!

Final results for the meet can be found here.