Over the past two weekends, the Abbotsford Whalers have extended a remarkable run of local dominance.
The summer swim club hosted its home meet July 27-28 at Centennial Pool, and finished atop the team points standings for the 11th consecutive year. They followed that up by claiming their ninth straight overall championship at the Fraser Valley regional meet, held in Langley last weekend.
“We’re on quite a roll as a club,” marveled head coach Josh Sandberg. “We’ve had a lot of standout swims.”
At the Whalers’ home meet, individual aggregate division winners on the girls side included Sarah Portas (Div. 1), Brianna Utas (Div. 4), Emilie Aikema (Div. 5), Madeline Fedora (Div. 6) and Julie Kanya (Div. 8), while boys division champs were Brenden Saether (Div. 4), Brady Utas (Div. 6) and Gavin Wiese (Div. 7).
At the regional championships, girls aggregate winners were Emily De Jager (Div. 1), Brittany Paget (Div. 2), Amy Connorton (Div. 3), Aikema (Div. 5) and Nadia Berard (Div. 7). Boys division winners included Saether (Div. 4), Jordan Aikema (Div. 6) and Wiese (Div. 7).
Emilie Aikema, in addition to her two division titles, set regional meet records in the 200-metre individual medley and the 100m butterfly. The IM record had stood since 1994.
Sandberg noted the Whalers club has been on the grow – they have 208 swimmers competing this summer, up 35 from last year.
“We’ve had a lot of good young swimmers come into the club who have been able to develop, and that’s been really promising,” he said.
Up next for the Whalers are the provincial championships in Coquitlam, Aug. 16-18.