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Swimmers diving into impressive season

Belleville Youth Swim Team at Milton. -BYST photo submitted

Belleville Youth Swim Team at Milton. -BYST photo submitted

Swimmers from Belleville and area, including Prince Edward County, are kicking off the new season with impressive performances in record numbers.

“The team is packed at every level with an all-time high in membership and rankings,” said head coach Brandon Oates. “Following an amazing Olympics in the pool for Team Canada, the BYST was flooded with inquiries.”

Oates said the team brought in Joyce Downey, a new, experienced Head Age Group Coach from western Canada and a new Jr. BYST Program Director, Kristin Buchanan who has an extensive swimming career between North Bay, Amherstview and most recently, McMaster University in Hamilton.

“The coaching staff witnessed the swimmers kicking off the new season with incredible performances at the Milton Dash for Cash swim meet last weekend,” he said.

Nine teams competed from all over Ontario and this area was well represented.

Five BYST athletes qualified for the 50m Freestyle Eliminator with Lauren Taylor leading the way by advancing through all five back-to-back rounds and winning the overall event.

Ashley Allaire and Nate Shiers-Redhead also made it to the final round, but came up just short by getting slightly out-touched.
Rylan Miller and Gracey Vanberkel made it to the third and second rounds respectively. Taylor won three gold and two silver medals while Allaire grabbed two gold and two silver. Shiers-Redhead brought back two gold and a silver, Vanberkel took home one gold, one silver and one bronze, and Miller had a gold and one silver.

Adam Bouma collected two silver medals, while his sister Zoe achieved one silver. Noah Brooks earned one silver and two bronze, while Nikki Cairns, Lily Charles, Jayden MacDonald and Gwen Randall all finished with a bronze medal.

Swimmers with 100 per cent best times were Craig Bekker, Adam Bouma, Alexa Buchanan, Nikki Cairns, Jonathan Champagne, Owen Googe, Gracey Vanberkel, Joseph West and Justin Zechel. Other BYST swimmers who raced exceptionally well included Madalyn Andrus, Jackson Bonn, Lina Brennan, Thomas Butler, Caelen Calder, Turrell Christian, Nickolas Cinnamon, Shayla Coe, Zoe Desjardins, Tess Friar, Isabella Isbester, Maddy Kort, Josh Lamoureux, Quintin Lichty, Karissa Manlow, Victoria McDowell, Leah McGillen, Maddie McGillen, Sadie Morphet, Jenna O’Neill, Leah Oster, Felicity Petherick, Lily Randall, Joseph Rittenhouse, Abigail Szuch, Alexis Terrington, Eva Tromp, Tara Winter and Hannah-Marie Zadworthy.

“The BYST has been consistently posting impressive results, while producing multiple provincial and national level qualifiers,” said Oates. “The swim program offers the right balance of training, stroke improvement, skill development and fun.”

The team has 50 swimmers off to Amherstview and another 18 headed to Scarborough this weekend. The team’s first hosted competition is set for Nov. 25-27 at the Templeman Menninga Aquatic Centre/Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre. For more information about the team, contact the head coach, Brandon Oates, at (613) 661-SWIM (7946).

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