The competitive swimming season in the Kootenays is officially underway after two full days of racing hosted by the Nelson Neptunes swim team.
The Neptunes had a stellar showing for such a young, new team finishing fourth — out of eight teams — in the team standings with a total of 246 points.
“Basically it was our first meet back after two years and it went really well. There was lots of improvement with people taking off lots of time. It was really exciting to see that a few records were broken,” said Neptunes head coach Cynthia Pfeiffer.
For some members of the Neptunes this meet was their first time competing in a swimming race. With new swimmers the Neptunes used the races as a growing opportunity.
“Lots of the kids are really excited and having a really good time. They are ready to come to more meets,” said Pfeiffer.
Many of the swimmers representing Nelson had numerous personal bests over the course of the swim meet.
Six-year-old Riley Andrusak took four first-place finishes and had three meet records in the 25-metre freestyle, 25-metre backstroke and 25-metre breaststroke.
Representing division six, Sage Cowan tied for first place in her category after her stellar performance through her events.
Every swim meet the Neptunes will participate in this season will follow the exact same format.
There are four events for the six-and-under novice category swimmers and six events for divisions one through eight.
Heading into their upcoming practices the youngest Neptunes, who practice five times a week, and the seniors, who practice seven times in five days, will be focusing on their form among other things.
“Coming up we’re going to be more focused on body position in the water and kicking which we noticed was lacking in the swim meet. We try to get the four strokes down before the swim meet as well as endurance training,” said Pfeiffer.
The summer racing season takes a very family-friendly approach at all of their swim meets as each club sets up a tent outside giving swimmers and their families a spot to relax and stay out of the sun in between races.
“The tents are a place for teams to hang out in between races. They bring games, tattoos, and make bracelets. It’s just fun things in between races which brings the team together,” said the coach.
The opportunity for kids to watch their coaches racing is something that every swimmer gets excited about. At each meet in the Kootenay Region, coaches from each club race in the same disciplines as their swimmers.
“The kids really like us to race and so do the parents. They really enjoy seeing us in the water and in seeing us do it they are more inclined to say ‘look what they can do’. Technical-wise the kids can see it and they get the excited because the coaches swim really well,” said Pfeiffer.
The next swim meet for the Nelson Neptunes will be a B meet in Grand Forks on Saturday, June 7.
“I think basically we have nowhere to go but up. I think we can get better. We just need to fine tune a couple things from here,” said Pfeiffer.