Lakers’ duo leave Carbonear with top-achievement awards
Two members of the Gander Lakers Swim Club swam their way to top-achiever status at a recent provincial invitational meet in Carbonear.
© Matt Molloy/The Beacon
WHAT A HAUL — The Gander Lakers picked up 43 medals at a recent provincial invitational meet in Carbonear. The club was happy with its performances, which included swims by (front, from left) Natalie Freake, Grace Collins, Erin Pinsent, Julia Pritchett; (middle) Ewan Maclean, Andrew Harris, Isaac Woolfrey, Max Collins, Nathan Quinton, Matthew Kearney, Aidan Foote, Gregory Parrott; (back) Claire Keeping, Shannon Greene, Carolyn Dumaresque and Sarah Dumaresque. Missing from photo, Dylan Morawski, Kristen Morawski and Aaron Woolfrey.
Dylan Morawski and Gregory Parrott both finished second in the top-achiever standings in their respective 13-14 and 15-and-over age groups.
Morawsi finished with 250 points, second to Corner Brook’s Noah Penney who had 260. Parrott finished with 220 points, 80 points behind Mark Peddle of the host Poseidon Swim Club.
Morawski and Parrott both finished with six medals, as did Matthew Kearney.
The meet was held Feb. 21-23.
“I was really pleased with how I did,” said Parrott. “It’s the most medals I’ve won and the most gold medals I’ve won at a meet. I also got top achiever, and I was really happy about that because I’ve only gotten it once before.
“I had someone ahead of me, and I tried keeping up with him, but he’s just too fast,” added Parrott with a laugh, referring to Poseidon’s Peddle.
“Yeah, I was happy with how I did in the pool,” said Kearney. “It was a good meet for a lot of us to place in because a lot of the faster swimmers are getting ready for the East Coast meet, so they didn’t go to this one.”
Shannon Greene was the top female Laker at the event, finishing with four medals.
The 15-year-old called the meet her best of the season, and was happy to prove herself in a new age group.
“It’s probably my best meet of the year, so I was really happy overall,” said Greene. “I took time off in all my events except two, so that’s pretty good, and I was really happy to be able to place.
“I turned 15 in January, so I’m in a new age group this year. Going into a new age group, I was really happy to place. Fifteen-year-old swimmers are obviously older and a lot faster, and it’s also harder to make your times.”
For both Greene and Parrott, the highlight of the meet was their overall accomplishments, and although Kearney felt the same way, he was particularly happy with his performance in the 400-metre freestyle.
He was anticipating a good swim, and was primed to leave with a medal. Not only did he walk away with a medal, but he was also able to take off some significant time.
“I took about 30 seconds off my time in that event,” said Kearney. “The adrenaline I had from trying to finish first in that event just took over, and I think that’s why I put up such a good time.”
Although the three Lakers had a huge part to play in the team’s 43-medal haul, and although their individual performances were impressive, there’s still work to do.
All three of the swimmers that spoke with The Beacon last Thursday already know what they want to work on next to further develop as competitive swimmers.
“My breaststroke,” said Kearney without hesitation. “It can be challenging depending on how often you train for it. People who stick with it, people like Jake (Jacob Cole) and Sarah (Dumaresque), do really well in breaststroke because that’s mostly what they do.”
“My starts, turns, and streamlines,” said Greene.
“I always slow down on my turns,” said Parrott. “That’s where I need to improve.”
Kearney actually had some advice to pass on to Parrott, which might come in handy as he tries to improve his turning.
Kearney knows what works best for him when he’s preparing for a turn, and he shared that with Parrott last Thursday.
“I try to lift my knees and touch my chest with them,” said Kearney. “It gives you more momentum when you’re flipping and you can push off faster.”
Along with Greene, Kearney, Morawski and Parrott, Carolyn Dumaresque, Aidan Foote, Claire Keeping and Isaac Woolfrey finished with three medals each; Ewan Maclean, Julia Pritchett and Nathan Quinton finished with two each; while Max Collins, Natalie Freake and Andrew Harris left with one each.
Swim For Hope
The Lakers will take a break from competitive swimming later this month month, when the annual Swim For Hope fundraiser takes place.
The event takes place March 21 at the Joseph R. Smallwood Arts and Culture Centre Swimming Pool, and members of the Lakers stopped going door-to-door last Sunday canvassing donations.
However, donations are still being accepted, and anybody interested in donating to the cause can do so by visiting www.swimforhope.ca, and following the Sponsor a Swimmer tab on the left-side of the page.
“It’s an event to raise money for the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre, and to bring even more awareness to cancer,” said Greene. “Obviously, cancer affects a lot of people, so it’s a good opportunity to raise money and raise awareness.”