The Campbell River Killer Whales kicked off their competitive swimming season with meets in Comox and Victoria last weekend. Photo contributed

Campbell River Killer Whales dive into new season with down-Island competitions

Coach challenges team to show the discipline, skill and poise that produces long term excellence

The Campbell River Killer Whales kicked off their new season by sending 32 swimmers down Highway 19A to the Comox Valley Thanksgiving Challenge and five swimmers to Victoria to compete in the Senior Circut Swim Meet.

The Comox Valley Thanksgiving Challenge is a great way to kick off a season as it is a nice small meet in a fun setting. For the senior Killer Whales competing in Victoria at the Senior Circuit Swim Meet, this meet was a demanding competitive experience.

Whether swimmers competed in the light-hearted fun invitational, or the more serious and competitive competition, the mission was the same. The mission was to begin the competitive season demonstrating control over yourself under the pressure of a race.

Campbell River Killer Whales new head coach, Richard Millns, sent the challenge out to all the athletes in the program to show the disciplined skill and poise that produces long term excellence in the sport of swimming. This challenge was accepted and, in many cases, athletes where successful in demonstrating high levels of skill under both the pressure and fatigue of the numerous races.

Coach Millns was reasonably pleased with the overall enthusiasm of how the team responded to the technical challenges.

“It is important that swimmers learn about the process of mastering a sport, learning to delay gratification for something bigger down the road is a terrific lesson both athletes and their families can learn from this past weekend,” she said.

Both meets saw excellent attitude and resilience for Campbell Rivers swim team. The team cheered and encouraged each other and showed strong support for one another.

Emily Magowan and Niveeda Naicker showed exceptional leadership skills in the Comox Valley Meet.

“Those girls where all in for the team, both as role models showing dedication to their skills, as well as assisting the younger swimmers in getting up for their races,” Millns said.

The team atmosphere was apparent as all the senior swimmers who attended the Comox meet where visible assisting the younger, less-experienced swimmer, this again was very encouraging for the Head Coach

“Being a competitor yourself, and then switching roles and stepping up to mentor the young swimmers is a key ingredient to a great team’,’ he said.

Down in Victoria, Campbell River’s Kara Beauregard rolled her ankle before her first race but chose to gut it out for the day racing numerous races with a swollen ankle. The message she sent by doing so was she was willing to put mind over matter and do the best she can with what she has.

Two other Killer Whales showed excellent pacing and sense of detail in their races. Summer Wenger and Kaya Lathangue rose up to perform some demanding splitting strategies in there longer distance races.

“The strategies all the kids where presented with demanded a level of distinct self control and pace awareness,” Millns said. “I am very proud of the kids for being bold and willing to go for it.”

Next up for the Killer Whales is the Bennet Island Cup Nov. 8-10. The Bennet Cup will be the first championship format meet where the swim team will be looking to continue to show team spirit and championship character.

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