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Swimmers splash to top 10 finish

BYST-champsBrantford – The Belleville Youth Swim Team – including members from Prince Edward County – finished in the top 10 at the Ontario Division II Team Championships.

“Every swim team in Ontario is divided into three separate divisions,” explains head coach Brandon Oates. “The BYST has always been in Division III.  Last season the team placed near the top and were given the option to either stay down in Division III or move up to Division II.  The coaching staff agreed that it would be best for the team to move up in order bring 30 athletes as opposed to 25.  Obviously a great choice as the team ranked ahead of 10 clubs from all over Ontario.  As one of the fastest improving teams in Canada, the BYST definitely lived up to the expectations as it posted over 75 per cent best times.

“The BYST has experienced nothing but success since beginning the new era out of the phenomenal 8-lane, 25 metre pool at the Templeman Menninga Aquatic Centre (Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre).”

Leading the charge was Alexander Grant with two gold, two silver and a bronze, to go along with 100 percent best times.  Talia Pappalardo received one gold, one silver and three bronze.  Stephanie Cairns achieved two silver, two bronze and a fourth.  Melissa Dingle brought home one silver, two bronze, a fourth and a fifth, plus she joined Cairns and Pappalardo by qualifying for Eastern Canadian Championships in the 200m backstroke.  Ben Isaak won gold in the 200m butterfly and also placed fourth and fifth in other races.  Katelyn Cairns earned one fifth, three sixth place finishes and one seventh.  Mackenzie Latter finished with two fifth place finishes, a sixth, a seventh and an eighth.  Ashley Allaire came in seventh in the 100m butterfly and achieved 100 percent best times.  Noah Brooks swam to a sixth place finish in the 100m backstroke and had all personal bests.

Other BYST Athletes with 100 per cent personal bests were Isabella Isbester, Madeline McGillen, Jeremy Moher, Olivia Morphet, Jenna O’Neil, Payton Reid, David Savic and Nate Shiers-Redhead.  Swimmers with outstanding performances included Katherine Beaumont, Jackson Bonn, Madeline Bonn, Lauren Donia, Olivia Goyer, Meaghan Hannigan, Una Lajic, Chloe Martineau, Rylan Miller, Reece Monk, Vladimir Novokovic, Marko Savic and Lauren Taylor.

“In the past 15 months, the team has more than doubled in size and has been achieving results that take most new teams years to reach.  The program is focused on developing younger athletes, in a disciplined competitive environment, ensuring committed athletes have opportunities to qualify for national teams, earn athletic scholarships and even pursue the ultimate dream of participating at the Olympics. ”

The BYST is holding a swim meet of featuring 400 athletes from all over the province on Jan. 11 and 12 at the Templeman Menninga Aquatic Centre.  A few weeks later, the BYST, along with the Ernestown Barracudas, will host Eastern Ontario Swim Association Regional Championships from January 31 to February 2.  This meet brings together the best swimmers from Ottawa, Nepean, Kingston, Cornwall, Brockville, Deep River, Perth, Carleton Place, Amherstview, Stittsville, Hawkesbury, Picton, Arnprior, Carleton Place and Petawawa.

“This meet will be the largest competitive swimming event the area has ever seen and it is expected to generate tons of revenue into the community,” said Oates.

Filed Under: Local NewsSports & Recreation

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