Swimmers pick up provincial medals

Riley McLean and Courtney Segert have been swimming their way towards competing at the national championships later this year

Riley McLean (left) and Courtney Segert with the medals they earned at the Swim BC AAA Championships earlier this month in Victoria.

Riley McLean (left) and Courtney Segert with the medals they earned at the Swim BC AAA Championships earlier this month in Victoria.

It took Riley McLean less than an hour to swim ever closer to his goal of competing in the Para Can Am Games.

The Vernon swimmer took part in the Across the Lake Swim July 16 as a fundraiser to help him with travel costs to the Para Can Am Games in Gatineau, Que. this December.

“It took Riley 57 minutes and 54 seconds,” said his coach, Renate Terpstra, who swam alongside McLean. “It is so incredible what he did, as our goal was to finish within one hour and 20 minutes.

“He started the swim and didn’t look back. He was so strong.”

The Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim is the largest and longest running open water swim event in Canada. Since its beginning in 1949, the event has been more a demonstration of swimming ability than a race. Each summer, swimmers of all ages and abilities challenge themselves to swim 2.1 kilometres across Okanagan Lake, from West Kelowna to City Park in Kelowna.

Following the event, McLean was honoured with the Jan Morrow Award.

Morrow was a member of the Kelowna Masters Swim Club in the ‘90s. After she lost her battle with cancer, the Kelowna Masters Swim Club decided to name an annual award at the Across the Lake Swim in her memory, to be awarded to a swimmer who demonstrates determination, inspiration and a positive attitude within the swimming community.

After completing the swim and picking up his award, it was back into the pool for McLean, where he is busy training for the Para Can Am Games, which is a qualifier for the Junior Para Pan Am Games and Para World Championships.

He also picked up a few medals at the Swim BC AAA Championships earlier this month, along with his teammate, Courtney Segert.

McLean earned a bronze medal in the 150 m IM with a personal best of 3:36.76. He also earned a silver medal in the 50 m butterfly and a gold medal in the 50 m backstroke, where he set a new Canadian record.

Segert earned a silver medal in the 50 m butterfly with a personal best of 1:04.83 and making her first Para Can Am time standard, and a bronze medal in the 100 m backstroke with a personal best of 2:09.24 and making her second Para Can Am time standard.

“This means Courtney will be classified next swimming season at a national level and can compete at the Para Can Am Games,” said Terpstra.

The Para Can Am Games brings together the best para-swimmers from both Canada and the United States, and often other international competitors.

As well, Jacob Brayshaw, who is also coached by Terpstra, was a part of Team Okanagan as a para swimmer at the BC Summer Games last week. He was one of eight para swimmers from across B.C. selected to participate in the games in Abbotsford.

Terpstra, who works closely with Swim Canada, coaches her swimmers through her program, Okanagan Para Swimming.