By Eliza McGuire, Revelstoke Aquaducks
The Revelstoke Aquaducks left town last Wednesday after one last morning practice to begin the long journey to the capital for the BC Summer Swim Asscoation Provincial Championships. Most split the trip into two, and arrived in Victoria just in time for the Regional warm-ups on Thursday to prepare the kids to swim at the Commonwealth pool in Saanich.
Friday started the competition with a bang in the individual medley. Division 1 Boy Ryder Litke got the ball rolling, breaking the provincial record, though placing second to fellow Okanagan swimmer Ryan McMillan from Penticton.
James LeBuke was the next swimmer to break a provincial record, winning the Division 4 Boys 200 metre IM by several body lengths.
Beth Granstrom began her total domination of Division 5 Girls with the IM, when she broke the provincial record by more than three seconds, and won the event by almost 10 seconds. Her teammate Brynn Hoshizaki came from seventh to win the bronze, demonstrating that if you have a lane, you have a chance.
Brynn and Beth then played musical records as Brynn broke Beth’s 50 metre freestyle record, only to have Beth break it the next day in the relay. Beth also set her second provincial record on Saturday in the 100 metre butterfly, eking out a gold medal through pure guts, determination, and superior fitness.
The final day of the competition was a big day for the Ducks, with Ryder Litke and James LeBuke improving on their personal bests enough to set new provincial records. While in preliminary swims both placed first, it was the final swims that got them under the records, bringing Revelstoke’s total of standing provincial records to five.
New club records were also set by many. The Gales were on the warpath, each breaking at least one record: Nolan broke Jackson Litke’s 50 metre butterfly record, winning a silver; and Devyn Gale broke the 100 metre freestyle and 100 metre IM records, which previously belonged to Brynn Hoshizaki and Beth Granstrom respectively. Meanwhile, Kayln Gale broke her sister’s 50 metre fly record and Granstrom’s 50 metre freestyle record.
Alex Jay beat James LeBuke’s Division 3 50 metre backstroke record to win his first-ever provincial medal after years of being fourth, and Jackson Litke broke Bryce Molder’s 200 metre IM record for Division 5 Boys. Gina Cinelli broke Emily Pfeiffer’s Division 7 100 metre breast stroke record to close out the meet.
Another first-time medalist was Hunter Stewardson, who won a silver in the 50 metre breaststroke for Division 3 Girls, helping bring Revelstoke’s individual medal count to 28.
Ryder Litke, Kayln Gale, Nolan Gale, James LeBuke, Beth Granstrom and Jackson Litke won medals in all four of their individual events. Ryder won three silvers and a gold, Kayln won three golds and a silver, Nolan completed a set with two golds, a silver and a bronze, as did James LeBuke. Jackson Litke won a gold and three bronze, and Beth Granstrom won all four of her individual events, making her the meet’s top scorer.
Despite being outnumbered, Revelstoke still managed to fight their way into the provinces top 10 teams for the second year in a row, and were the top Okanagan team at provincials for the first time ever.
Small but mighty has been the theme of the year for the Revelstoke Aquaducks, and a fitting way to end what has been another truly spectacular season. Congratulations to all the Ducks who swam at the Provincial Championships!