The TRU WolfPack Swim Team had a successful Provincial Swimming Championships that took place on March 7th in Victoria. The meet saw 604 swimmers from 42 clubs in B.C., Washington State, and the Yukon compete over the course of the weekend. The WolfPack had an outstanding meet with three out of four swimmers making second swims. The WolfPack finished 26th overall – winning a total of four medals with one gold, one silver, and two bronze.
“It was a very successful weekend. We used this tournament as a way to post new qualifying times and get prepared for the upcoming Olympic trials,” Brad Dalke, TRU swim head coach said. “We had a lot of athletes who exceeded expectations and post phenomenal times.”
In total, there were 11 new qualifying times posted by local Kamloops swimmers for the upcoming Olympic trials, which will be taking place from March 30th to April 6th in Toronto. Among those was TRU student Matthew Gauthier, who won a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke during provincials. He was joined by Ryley McRae who is deemed the fastest swimmer in Kamloops as he won gold at the 800-meter freestyle; he placed second at the 100m butterfly and came third in the 200-meter freestyle. He, along with Gauthier, will be the two athletes to represent the school during the Olympic trials.
“McRae wasn’t shaved or tapered going into the provincials. In fact, I only had him race two days of the swim meet because I didn’t want to have him miss time off school,” Coach Dalke commented. “We are resting him for April. That is championship season and we want him at his peak. The fact that he was still able to place in most of his races is a testament to his skill.”
Not only will McRae compete in multiple races for the Olympic trials, but he will also compete in the open water Olympic trials where he will swim in the ocean of the Caymen Islands from April 25th to the 26th.
In order for athletes to qualify for the Olympics, they must finish in the top two during the trials. From there, they must also beat a time that is adjudicated by Swim Canada as a quick enough pace to compete at the highest level. For now, Coach Dalke and his swim team will train hard and continue to shave seconds off of their time to make the cut.