Clippers make their mark at Provincials

 Pat Travers

Six senior swimmers from the Collingwood Clipper’s Swim Club (CCSC) qualified and competed at this past weekend’s Provincial Long Course Championships/AA Championships in Brantford.

This is one of the pinnacle meets in the yearly schedule of the Clippers and requires swimmers to meet certain provincial standards in order to compete. Needless to say, it is highly competitive, with high performance athletes coming from all corners of Ontario to compete.

Simply making the Top 8 is an amazing accomplishment and usually reflects a Top 20-30 or better ranking in Canada.

The fact that Collingwood had six qualifiers in its small senior group speaks volumes for the quality of the program and abilities of the local athletes.

This group has been training as much as 12 hours per week since late September in preparation for this meet and for most, the work really paid off.

As a team, the crew of only six swimmers, were 43rd out of 74 teams (some with teams the size of the age group program in Collingwood), reflective of some very impressive individual performances.

Annie Deasy and Cole Mitchell led the way with Deasy taking home silver in the very exciting 50 freestyle final and bronze in the 200 freestyle events. Annie scraped her way into the finals and put on an exciting show from the outside lane to win bronze. Cole similarly had a couple of very captivating races capturing a bronze in the 100 back by mere tenths of seconds and another bronze in the 200 m backstroke which he convincingly led up until the 150 meter mark, holding off a charging 4th place finisher at the touch. He narrowly missed Eastern Nationals for 14 yr olds (he is currently only 13 years old) by a few tenths of a second in the 100 back.

The concurrent AA Provincial meet saw Aidan Mitchell bringing home a gold medal in the 200m and 400m freestyle events, breaking the CCSC club record in the latter and missing the club record in the former by only 7/100 of a second. Sophie Deasy added to the medal count with a gold in the 200 back and bronze in the 200 IM. Sophie’s 200 IM was an exhilarating race as she set a new club record and dropped six seconds off her personal best time.

She had to compete again in less than 20 mins, and claimed the gold in 200 Bk. That’s no easy accomplishment in the sport of swimming.

Jack Goode has continued to impress this season with improvement at every meet. He was the anchor for all four of the Clipper relays. The young man has been able to qualify for almost every competition that requires certain time standards. Regionals, Festivals, Provincials and this weekend he nearly made Eastern Canadian Championships in his 400 free. Jack managed a bronze in the AA 200m freestyle with a gritty performance.

In total, nine CCSC club records fell over the weekend with the 15-17 yr old boys (Cole Mitchell, Aidan Mitchell, Jack Goode, Jack Czerny) setting three new standards in the 4x50 freestyle, 4x 100 freestyle and 4x 100 medley. Jack dropped the 13 and 14 yr old 400m and 800m freestyle records, Cole, the 100m/200m backstroke, and Sophie the 200 IM record for 15 and Over girls.

“This team is still fairly young and with the performances they were able to produce this past weekend, there are some very exciting days ahead for this squad,” said current Clipper president, Dr Wade Mitchell.

The senior crew will be heading to Florida over March break to do some more intensive training with head coach, Ryan Gurney, with the hopes of upping the ante yet again and hopefully seeing some of these high performing athletes get to the next level.  

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