medals01Fresh from an admirable showing at provincials, the Owen Sound Aquatic Team came home from Nationals in Quebec last weekend with a respectable number of medals and a fist full of ribbons, affectionately referred to as "bookmarks" by the club.

Twenty-three medals and nineteen ribbons were collected by the group who made the trip to Old Quebec City on Thursday, May 11th and spent much of their weekend in one of Canada's premier cities at the Laval Université pool.

Although they had some time to see some of the sights, they were primarily occupied with the meet and improving their times.

Masters Swimmers are swimmers who are twenty-five years of age and over. They aren't required to have previous experience but many have come from competitive swimming. They swim in five year age groups, 25 to 29, 30 to 34, 35 to 39, and so on. There is no age limit to Masters Swimming, and this year at Nationals, Judie Oliver of the North York Gators set nine new national records for the womens 85 to 89 year old age group with a tenth record possible, pending review.

Owen Sound Aquatic Team members Mark Avery, Kathy Blight, Geordie Farrell, Chris Hatcher, Nikki Huggins, and Chris Nightingale all added medals to the to the team's collection of swag and Bob Patrick joined them in increasing their collection of ribbons.

Additionally, Diane Sauro posted a very respectable first effort of 2:02.83 in the 100 metre breast stroke event and every other member of the team set new official personal bests in many events.

Geordie Farrell, in addition to adding to the medals, swam the longest event of any member of the team, posting a solid 13 minutes and 55.54 seconds in the women's 800 metre Freestyle and taking first in her 65 to 69 year age group.

Medals included Mark Avery's bronze in the 100 Butterfly; Kathy Blight's silvers in the 200 Breast and the 100 Free and her bronzes in the 50 Free, the 50 Breast and the 100 Breast; Geordie Farrell's golds in the 400 Free, the 800 Free, the 50 Free, and the 200 Free and her silver in the 100 Free; Chris Hatcher's golds in the 50 Back, the 100 Back, the 200 Back, the 200 Individual Medley and the 400 Individual Medley; Nikki Huggins' bronzes in the 50 Back and the 100 Back; and Chris Nightingale's silvers in the 200 Breast, the 50 Breast, and the 100 Breast.

Additionally, the team entered five relays and won two golds, one in the 200 Mixed Medley with a team of Nikki Huggins, Chris Nightingale, Mark Avery, and Kathy Blight, and one in the 200 Mixed Freestyle with a team of Kathy Blight, Chris Nightingale, Nikki Huggins, and Chris Hatcher.

The Owen Sound Aquatic Club Masters Swimmers train at the Julie McArthur Regional Recreation Centre.


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