Rebels conquer the pool

By Jamie Harkins

June 8, 2017 12:00 AM

SO FAST Addie McCloud swims toward the finish line during the 25-m freestyle race in the Lloydminster Rebels fifth annual swim meet at the Leisure Centre on Saturday. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO

Nikhil Ulmer, a boys’ aged-six-and-under competitor for the Lloydminster Rebels summer swim club, served as an example of the continued improvement that each of the team’s athletes have made this season.
Ulmer placed fourth in the 25-metre backstroke, fifth in the 25-m flutter board and sixth in the 25-m freestyle races at the Rebels fifth annual swim meet at the Bioclean Aquatic Centre on Saturday.
The swimming beginner achieved this mark, despite only a few weeks ago refusing to enter the water unless he was wearing flotation devices.
Denise Totman, head coach of the Rebels, said 73 of their 78 aged-four-to-18 swimmers took part in the meet with quite a few of them, including Ulmer, using the tournament as their first or second foray into competitive swimming.
She said the athletes did very well considering their inexperience and youth with the majority of the club consisting of boys and girls under the age of 14.
“I’ve been getting first and second place (finishes) and I’m very happy with it,” said Emma-Leigh Dziurzynski, 10, noting she has been training with the Rebels for five years. “I like to compete at swimming, and swimming is something that I love to do.”
Dziurzynski captured a gold medal in the individual 200-m freestyle race, and silver medals in the 25-m and 50-m butterfly meets.
She also won two gold medals as a member of the Rebels 100-m medley and freestyle relay teams.
Halle Newstead noted she competed in the girls aged-six-and-under 25-m backstroke, flutter board and freestyle races, where she finished ninth, 10th and 12th respectively. She said the reward for this effort included candy, drinks, and a gift from McDonalds.
Totman said the Rebels summer swimming schedule provides their athletes with a chance to stay in shape during the summer months when their regular sports like hockey or volleyball aren’t running, as well as give the kids another output to help them develop physically.
She said an added bonus with the club and meets such as the one on Saturday is it gives families and swimmers of all ages an opportunity to come together and socialize.
“A lot of the parents are here helping,” said Totman. “It’s nice to come together and it’s one sport where there is one family here that has four children, and they’re all in the same sport on the same day. That’s kind of nice for mom and dad.”

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