Bay Roberts swimmer shows promise

Alex Neil hopes to make Canada Summer Games team

Melissa Jenkins
Published on January 29, 2016
Poseidon swimmer Alex Neil holds a bronze medal she earned at a recent competition in Quebec.
Photo by Melissa Jenkins/The Compass

It's not uncommon to see Alex Neil wearing her red Poseidon Swim Club hoodie just about anywhere she goes.

The 13-year-old Bay Roberts girl is a proud member of her team and has been ever since she began swimming competitively at age 10.

"I was always in (swimming), but I used to be on the summer team. That was more fun than it was competitive," said the articulate young swimmer. "Then my mom moved me to winter swimming. With more training, I started getting better strokes and I realized I was kind of good."

When Neil initially took up competitive swimming, she didn't know the other swimmers. But she quickly became friends with her fellow Poseidon teammates. It's one of the highlights of Neil's experience with the club.

"When I first joined the team I didn't know any of the girls because I lived so far away," she explained. "But after swimming with them for a couple of years, you really bond with them."

When asked if she had any advice for anyone considering joining a swim team, she was quick to respond.

"You should join," she said. "Being on a team is really fun."

Swim success

Recently, Neil has been making waves at swim meets both in Newfoundland and in Quebec, earning medals and personal best times.

During her hometown meet in Carbonear Jan. 16-17, Neil earned some big achievements, including first place finishes in two events. She went home with the overall silver medal in the 13-14 female category.

This is not her first individual medal, but it is one she appreciates a bit more because she earned it at her home pool.

One of the highlights of her short swimming career so far though is the meet in Quebec.

During the Dec. 10-13 meet in Point-Claire, Neil was one of five swimmers from Poseidon. She was also the only one to go home with a medal. With a time of 31.96, Neil placed third in the 50 metre butterfly final, earning her a bronze medal. She also competed in the final for the 50 freestyle.

Bigger dreams

This may have been a stepping stone along her journey, but Neil has higher aspirations for swimming.

"I want to make the (Newfoundland and Labrador) Canada Games team," she exclaimed. "I'm making the camps for it now."

The Canada Summer Games is held every four years. Next year it will be held in Winnipeg.

The last Poseidon swimmer to compete at the Summer Games was Allison Somers in 2013 as a 16 year old. She is now swimming with the University of New Brunswick.

Neil will be 15 during the Winnipeg competition.

For now, she will keep swimming hard in hopes of getting invited along to the camps. She has already been invited to one in Corner Brook.

Right now her training regime is the same as the rest of the swim team. On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Poseidon did a 4,300 metre workout in the pool. They train four to five days a week.

Neil is looking forward to what's to come in her swimming career, but mostly she just loves to swim.