Hundreds compete in Gators swim meet

More then 200 swimmers attended the Ponoka Gators swim meet held Friday, July 17 and 18.

Ponoka Gators’ Quinn Cabay (9) races in the backstroke event against other swimmers Saturday

Ponoka Gators’ Quinn Cabay (9) races in the backstroke event against other swimmers Saturday

More then 200 swimmers attended the Ponoka Gators swim meet held Friday, July 17 and 18.

The event brought swimmers from central Alberta swim clubs and the front lawn of the Aquaplex was covered in tents from swimmers camping out for the day.

Coaches Megan Lewis and Jon Davies were pleased with the large turnout and seeing many new Ponoka swimmers compete.

“I think, for Megan and I, we were just so pumped for the development crew. Our 10 and under program is flourishing so when they get to come and show mom and dad how they are swimming, I think that’s the best part,” said Davies.

Lewis said that she enjoyed seeing so many swimmers attend.

“We get lots of people swimming from out of town for this one. It’s really fun,” added Davies.

He said there are many swimmers heading to regionals, to be hosted in Lacombe by the Killam/Forestburg swim clubs, starting Saturday, Aug. 8, with many looking to achieve silver and gold medals at the event.

If they qualify, they will then head to provincials Aug. 14 for three days of serious swim competition.

“We usually expect 20 to 30 swimmers to qualify for provincials,” said Davies. “This is our last meet before then, so we’re definitely looking to see how they will place in their region.”

Lewis said now that the home swim meet is over she and Davies can focus on specific techniques such as starting and fast turns and finding the event that best matches the swimmer.

“It’s the attention to detail that seems to matter now,” added Davies.

While there were no records broken by Ponoka swimmers, Davies said Red Deer’s Cale Kooyman broke a provincial record in the U14 boys’ 50m breast stroke. “He’s definitely someone to watch.”

“We have a number of Ponoka kids looking at provincial records,” he added.

A popular event at the end of the swim meet is the family relay, which allows families to swim for bragging rights and a trophy. There were several family teams that competed for the trophy and it was a popular event to close out the swim meet.

Lewis added her thanks to the parents who volunteered their time to ensure the event could be held.