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Vernon swimmers smash club records at weekend trials

Vernon Kokanee Swim Club athletes getting set for Western Canadian Championships in Edmonton
Ryan Murphy (left) and Alexanne Lepage of the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club put in strong performances at the Bell Canadian Swimming Trials in Victoria April 5-10, 2022. (Submitted photo)

It was a busy week of racing and record-breaking for the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club.

A pair of swimmers represented the club at the Bell Canadian Swimming Trials in Victoria April 5-10. The trials were used to select the national teams for the upcoming World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Junior Pacific Championships.

Alexanne Lepage was stellar in the pool, setting seven new best times competing in five finals races and setting five new club records. Her top place came in the 50-metre breaststroke where she finished in sixth place with a time of 32.23, breaking the old club record of 33.10 set in 2005.

Lepage placed 18th in the 200 m individual medley, beating the club record set in 2009 by more than four seconds.

Her 400 m individual medley club record came in at a time of 4:58.94, good for 23rd place overall in the meet. In her 100 m breast stroke race, Lepage finished in 19th place wit ha time of 1:11.56, beating the previous record of 1:12.30 set in 2005.

Finally, proving her well-rounded skill set, Lepage broke the 100 m backstroke club record with a time of 1:03.99, close to two seconds faster than the previous club record set in 2017. She placed 20th in the backstroke race.

On the men’s side, Ryan Murphy got his feet wet in the backstroke events over the weekend, reaching the finals in the 10 m event in 59.36 and the 200 m event in 2:10.26, and placing 24th in both. Murphy also took part in the 50 m backstroke, finishing in 23rd place with a time of 27.79. Overall, he attained new best tims in all three races.

Closer to home, the Kokanees competed at a couple of swim meets in Salmon Arm. From April 9-10, 41 athletes swam to a total of 150 new best times.

In the main event, the Askews Spring Thaw, the Kokanee club won the overall points trophy in a close race with the Kelowna Aquajets. Several swimmers managed to improve in all their races, including Zion Ellis, Norah McIntyre, Noah Muligan, and Violet Jenner. Julia Russell placed first in all six of her races over the weekend.

In the Jamboree portion of the Salmon Arm swim meet, the Kokanee team achieved four new sub-four-minute 200 m individual medley standards. Breaking under the main meet standard was Jackson Burrows (3:24.71), Geneviere Darveniza (3:59.39), Abby Helm (3:55.45), Carmela Rossetti (3:52.90) and very close call to making the standard was Rowan Brett achieving a 4:00.61 time.

“The experience in Victoria was amazing. For both Ryan and Alexanne to qualify in second swims in finals and also do a best time in the evening races was great. Having done this at their first Senior National competition is even more amazing,” said Kokanee Swim Club head coach Jason Brockman. “I am sure it was a real eye opener for them to watch some of the best swimmers in the world race at the competition and to see their own potential for the future by seeing that they can compete with them.”

The next swim meet for the Kokanees will be on the April 21-24 weekend in Edmonton for the Western Canadian Championships.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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