Eight Canadian and three US records set at BC Masters Swimming Championships

Kelowna, BC, – Thirty five clubs representing 190 swimmers from across British Columbia, Canada and the USA participated in a successful BC Masters Swimming Provincial Championships this weekend at Kelowna’s H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre.

Hosted by Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC), the three-day event saw eight Canadian Masters and three US Masters records fall, as well as several BC records.

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KISU’s OK Falls resident Glen Carlsen

The Okanagan was well represented, with KISU’s Okanagan Falls resident Glenn Carlsen AG 60-64 securing two Canadian records in the 800 and 1500 meter freestyle and a BC record in the 400 meter freestyle. Carlsen said, “It’s always fun to race in Kelowna, because the people are always so friendly and welcoming. Masters swimming is like getting together with family who all love to race.”

OMSC’s Betty Brussel AG 90-94 and Conny Stamhuis AG 85-89 showed true grit by setting new Canadian records in the 800 meter freestyle and 200 meter backstroke respectively. Not to be outdone by the ladies, Christopher Smith AG 85-89 of Trillium Masters Swim Club, Toronto set new Canadian records for the 50 meter freestyle and the 100 meter butterfly.

Edmonton’s Barry Lewis  AG 55 – 59 secured the seventh individual Canadian record at the meet, for the 100 meter freestyle.    Lewis was also part of the Edmonton Masters Swim Club relay team that set a new Canadian record for the combined age group 200-239 in the 200 meter medley relay, together with Barry Saretsky, Gail McGinnis and Deborah Younger.

World class swimmer Karlyn Pipes AG 55-59 of Palm Beach Masters broke three US Masters records in the 50 meter breaststroke, 200 meter freestyle and the grueling 400 meter individual medley, narrowly missing world records in each of these events. Pipes currently holds six FINA Masters world records in this age group.

Four BC records were broken by Victoria’s Avila Rhodes AG 60-64 in the 50,100 and 200 meter freestyle and the 100 meter breaststroke. New BC records were set by OMSC’s Carmelle Guidi-Swan AG 45-49 in the 200 meter butterfly, Georgina Lopez AG 70-74 in the 50 meter freestyle and Vlad Shirokov AG 25-29 in the 50 meter breaststroke.

But masters swimming is about much more than setting records. It provides fun, friendship and fitness and allows individuals to challenge themselves in a safe environment. Many swimmers participated in their first competitive meet, and several seasoned swimmers also achieved personal best times over the weekend.

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OMSC team members Jack Kosmerly and Canadian record holder Betty Brussel

OMSC won the Masters Swimming Association of British Columbia (MSABC) trophy as the team points leader, followed by English Bay Swim Club, Vancouver and Vernon Masters.

The volunteer committee chaired by OMSC’s Norma Lachance put in several hundred hours to make the 2017 Provincials an enjoyable and memorable experience for swimmers, guests and officials.

Photo credits: Jeanette Hoft

Results are available here: http://okmasters.com/openwater/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2017-provinicals-results-mm6results1coldefault.pdf

For more information on Masters Swimming visit the OMSC website at http://okmasters.com/openwater/ or the MSABC website at  http://www.msabc.ca/index.html

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World records expected at 2017 BC Masters Swimming Championships

Kelowna, BC, April 2, 2017 – Kelowna’s Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC) is expected to host around 200 swimmers on April 21-23 during the Masters Swimming Association of BC’s (MSABC) Provincial Swimming Championships at H2O Adventure & Fitness Centre.

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Karlyn Pipes and Christopher Hromek

The beautiful Okanagan, together with one of the most advanced aquatic facilities in Canada, provides an unmatched opportunity to attract swimmers from around the province and beyond.  Multiple world record holder Karlyn Pipes, a Hawaiian based masters swimmer who broke six new FINA Masters world and five USMS records for the 55-59 age group this January, has confirmed her participation. Having just moved into a new age group and with H2O’s reputation as a ‘fast pool’ Pipes is focused on breaking a few more world records at the meet. She recently tied the knot with Kelowna resident Christopher Hromek.

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Brenda Balderson, Treasurer of OMSC, at the 2016 MSABC Provincial Championships in Vancouver

OMSC president Sharon  Spring says,” Masters swimming is however for swimmers of all abilities and this is reflected in our participants. There is always strong competition for the MSABC Champions Trophy, presented to the team that scores the most points.  OMSC hopes that the placement of a ‘lucky Ogopogo’  in similar fashion to the ‘lucky loonie’ in major international hockey competitions, will provide a home-base advantage.”

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Rod Craig (L) of Canadian Dolphin Masters and Glenn Carlsen (R) of KISU after challenging each other in the 1500 Free

Spring adds, “We have an enthusiastic working team of experienced volunteers under guidance of meet manager Norma Lachance, contributing hundreds of hours to make the 2017 Provincials an enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone.  We encourage masters swimmers to enter online well ahead of the April 16 deadline.”  Volunteers are still needed for time-keeping and other tasks so please sign up here. No experience is required. Long-time volunteer Sam Hoover, both encourages and draws inspiration from competitors aged 18 to 90 and above, and has supported local masters competitions for several years.

Current gold sponsors are Gorman Brothers, John Antle Mortgage Alliance, Kelowna Cycle, Orchard Chiropractic and Physiotherapy, Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx, the Patterson Group RE/MAX Kelowna, Pushor Mitchell and Work in Progress. Team Aquatic Supplies, Save on Foods and Wilson Beck Insurance Services are silver sponsors.

MSABC recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions to the improvement of Masters swimming in British Columbia and will announce this year’s winners at an awards ceremony on April 22. Nominations can still be made on the MSABC website.   Information on participating and volunteering  at the 2017 MSABC Provincial Swimming Championships is available here: http://okmasters.com/2017-provincials/

MSABC has approximately 1700 registered members including some at age 90 and over. Masters swimming provides excellent opportunities for improved health and quality of life through regular low-impact exercise, improved cardio-vascular function and the general well-being that comes from exercise, heaps of camaraderie and even a little competition.  If you’re over the age of 18, you’re old enough to join.

Other major swimming attractions in the Okanagan include the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim on July 15 and the Rattlesnake Island Swim on August 5 . President of ATLS and member of OMSC, Phred Martin encourages those interested to enter early as they normally sell out.