With the highest registration numbers in years and a couple of time trials under their elasticated wastebands, the Whistler Seawolves swim team hosted the Squamish Pirates in a Halloween fun meet.
The plan was to show new swimmers how fun it could be and to ease them into the competition with a mix of events. With nearly all of the Seawolves swimmers and coaches on hand, as well as a great turnout of parent volunteers and cheerleaders, the stage was set for the first real night of competitive swimming Whistler has seen for many years.
The event kicked off at 6 p.m., and through the excellent organization of Jon and Doris Ellis it was all over by 7:30 p.m.
The first event was the pumpkin relay, whereby swimmers had to carry a small pumpkin on their stomachs for the length of the pool. Although this was just a fun race, it soon became obvious that the swimmers were in it to win.
It also got the teams fired up for the first individual events, a 25 or 50 metre freestyle that was dependent on age and ability. The seeding resulted in some really close and exciting races, but it became clear that the competitive experience of the Pirates from the summer swimming series would be a major factor in the nights results.
That said, the raw enthusiasm and spirit that the Whistler swimmers showed was encouraging for the future of the sport in Whistler. Although all of the Seawolves excelled, Jesse Morden, the longest practising Seawolf on the team, won her race against more experienced swimmers and set an excellent personal best in the process.
In the breast stroke events, the Pirates were at an obvious advantage with the coaching of Kelly Kaye, a recent provincial champion and national competitor who specializes in the breast stroke. Whistler still managed to keep in close in many of the races, and Samatha Ellis, a Seawolf who trained with the Pirates over the summer, won her race by almost two seconds. This summer, Ellis missed the provincials by less than a second, beating her personal best in the breast stroke by two seconds.
Other events included a mixed team pool noodle, a freestyle, and a much anticipated parent and coach relay.
If youre interested in joining the Seawolves and can swim 50 metres, contact Jon at 604-932-0196 or Craig at 604-932-3800, or show up at the pool on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 4 p.m.