Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Provincial Team Championships: 2010.04.16 to 2010.04.18

It's been over a month, but I wanted to share these photos and story about Connor's swim meet in April  On the weekend I was scheduled to teach at ScrapFest, Connor's coach asked him to be one of the 40 kids going to Nepean (Ottawa) to represent WEST in the Provincial Team Championships!  To say he was stoked would have been a gross understatement!! We are so proud of how far he has come this past year.

I'm going to hand it over to Gary, who traveled with Connor and the team, to let him relay the experience.

Hi everyone - Gary here! 

Being fairly new to the world of competitive swimming, every swim meet has been an adventure and learning experience, and the  Division 1 Team Championships topped them all... so far!

First a quick little background... there are a number of divisions in Ontario swimming, and based on swimmer performances over the year (and at events, like the Team Championships), teams are ranked and placed in a division.  Connor's team, WEST, has been in the Division 1 Tier for the last two years. Being a smaller club, compared to many of the other teams in Division 1, there's a sense of pride throughout the team, and a drive to ensure they stay in Division 1. To that end, everyone was ready for the challenge, and to say they did their best is an understatement... more on that in a minute.

Forty swimmers from WEST were invited to participate in the Team Championships, from the various age groups.  Based on his performance this year, Connor was invited to swim in the 10 & Under class with 3 others.  A big part of the team championships are the relays, so you need 4 swimmers per age group (male and female) to participate in the relays.

The event was scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so to ensure everyone was well rested and we arrived in time, we headed up to Nepean/Ottawa on Thursday by bus.  The team required chaperones for the younger kids, so I volunteered and got a seat on the bus... which was good, 'cause I didn't really feel like driving all the way there by myself.

What I had expected to be a raucous 7 hour ride actually turned out to be quite un-eventful, with the kids either glued to their DS's or fixated on Season 1 of Glee, playing on the TVs on the bus!  Upon arriving in Nepean, we went right to the pool for a practice and to familiarize ourselves with the facilities.
Afterwards, we were treated to a very good pasta buffet dinner, organized by one of the other parents.  If you ever want to see something entertaining, throw an all-you-can-eat pasta and bread buffet in front of a bunch of teenage athletes.  Fourth and fifth servings weren't un-common.

With everyone well-fed, we headed to our hotel and everyone crashed for the night... well, almost everyone... except the teenagers!!!!

Friday, the first day of competition, was actually pretty relaxing.  The 12 & Unders didn't have to swim until the evening so there was a lot of sitting around, watching TV, playing video games, listening to music... and the kids stayed busy as well! :-)  But when competition time came around, it was all business.

The entire team did extremely well.  Numerous swimmers medaled and there were over 30 club records broken that weekend.  Connor now holds two of those records with his relay team:  one in the 200 Free Relay (Boys 10 & Under) and one in the 200 Medley Relay (Boys 10 & Under)... on top of placing 5th overall in the competition for relays.  Connor also bested all of his own personal times, with his backstroke showing the most improvement, where he came 10th overall.  Remember - this is PROVINCIAL!!  We're so proud of him!

The Provincial Team Championships were run on what's referred to as a LC (Long Course) 50m pool.  This is split into two 25m pools for qualifying races, but then changed back to a long course for finals (13 & Over) and the relays.

The most exciting part of the weekend had to be these relays.  Every team and every age group is present during relays, along with family, friends and spectators.  The level of excitement, and the energy in the building during these 2 to 2 1/2 minute races is unbelievable.  I swear it was louder than a rock concert in time, I'm wearing ear plugs!

All in all, it was an incredible experience and I'm glad Connor got a chance to participate.  He's already looking forward to next year and is determined to make the team again!

Here are some photographs I took at the meet:

The entire team and coaches.  Everyone received Division 1 team shirts with their name on the back.
The pool deck is always what we refer to as "organized chaos"...

Funny hats ran rampant... :-)

Trying to get everyone moving towards the same place always proved to be a challenge!
Connor, with one of his relay teammates, Cole.

The Relay 10 & Under Relay Team:  Cole, Ethan, Connor and Nick.  Way to go, boys!!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Sounds like it was very exciting. Gary sure knows how to tell a story. Congratulations to Connor!!

  2. Wow... Congrats to Conor WTG...Gary.... I could never get my huband to blog.. thanks for telling your story.. sounds like a great time... It was so good to have your wife at scrapfest.. but I am sure she was torn...


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