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County swimmers compete with Eastern Canada’s best

County residents Shakil Jiwa and Talia Pappalardo stepped up with some big swims at the Eastern Canadian Championships in Montreal this past weekend and gained all the experience they could in this first step toward the 2016 Olympic trials.

“This meet incorporates the best swimmers in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada,” said Brandon Oates, head coach of the Belleville Youth Swim Team.  The two athletes competed in five individual events each in one of the most prestigious meets on the national stage.

On the last day of competition, Talia Pappalardo, 14, swam well in the 200m individual medley, equalling her personal best time. However, she was disqualified due to a non-simultaneous touch on the breaststroke to freestyle turn. She didn’t let that stand in her way as she powered thorough an 800m freestyle, where she dropped four seconds. Her time of 9:31.62 placed her 21st overall.

Shakil Jiwa lowered his 200m freestyle by another 1.5 seconds and clocked in at 1:58.12 to place seventh among 15-year-olds, and 31st overall.

“This was the first time the BYST has participated at this prestigious competition and we had great results,” said Oates. “Hopefully next year the team will bring more qualifiers, see multiple finalists and possibly a podium performance.”

Earlier in the meet, Pappalardo dropped nearly two seconds on her best event, the 200m backstroke. with an outstanding time of 2:21.92, which placed her 16th overall and holding the spot of first alternate for finals.
Jiwa had dropped over half a second in the 100m freestyle. His time of 53.41 allowed him to finish 18th overall. Although he is racing in the 16 and under category, amongst 15 and under males, he posted the second fastest time and that means he could have a podium finish next season.

On day two, Jiwa dropped over two seconds on his 100m backstroke to break the minute barrier by clocking in at 59.37. The time slotted him into 17th overall, an alternate position for finals. He also raced the 50m freestyle and came in at a fast 24.66, good enough for 25th overall.  Pappalardo took over seven tenths of a second off her 100m backstroke, taking off over seven tenths of a second. Her time of 1:05.96 earned her 23rd overall.

On the event’s first day Jiwa dropped over half a second in his first race the 50m backstroke. He finished 18th overall a time of 28.26. Pappalardo also raced the 50m backstroke for her first event. She dropped 0.73 to clock in at 31.07 and placed 23rd overall.

Next, Shakil Jiwa, Talia Pappalardo, Stephanie Cairns, Katelyn Cairns and Liam Jarvis will be representing BYST at Ontario Age Group Champs, the best 13 and over swimmers in the province. Next weekend seven athletes head to Toronto for Ontario Festivals, the fastest 13 and unders in the province.  Participants include Isaac Jarvis, Ryan Jarvis, Rafik Jiwa, Melissa Dingle, Alexander Grant, Katelyn Cairns and Stephanie Cairns (de-qualified, which means she attained too many Age Group Provincial qualifying times).

February began with 20 BYST members attending Eastern Ontario Regional Championships in Ottawa  The team managed to bring home more than 20 medals.  Those earning a spot on the podium included Katelyn Cairns, Stephanie Cairns, Alexander Grant, Rafik Jiwa, Shakil Jiwa, Jeremy Moher and Talia Pappalardo.  Swimmers with 100 percent best times were Stephanie Cairns, Isaac Jarvis, Ryan Jarvis, Rafik Jiwa and Jeremy Moher.  Other BYST athletes competing were Noah Brooks, Courtney Buchanan, Melissa Dingle, Matthew Horwood, Benjamin Isaak, Liam Jarvis, Emily Morrison, Kaitlyn Morrison, Lauren Taylor, Lobsang Wangkhang and Mackenzie Latter.

Filed Under: Local NewsSports & Recreation

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