Aquanauts excel at regional meet

Hosting the regional meet at Castlegar Recreation Complex didn't hurt the Aquanauts as 36 of 44 swimmers swam personal best times and 25 picked up medals. The 'Nauts were able to topple the mighty Trail Stingrays by a scant 28 points to take the overall title.

Nick Welychko leads the field as he comes in for the finish in the 100 metre butterfly at the Kootenay Regional Swim Meet held in Castlegar on Saturday.

UPDATED – Hosting the regional meet at Castlegar Recreation Complex didn’t hurt the Aquanauts as 36 of 44 swimmers swam personal best times and 25 picked up medals. The ‘Nauts were able to topple the mighty Trail Stingrays by a scant 28 points to take the overall title.

Moving on to provincials, which will be held in Richmond are: Div 1 boys – Ethan Lawczynski, Carson Ogloff, Bryce Anderson, Cayden Cooke; Div 2 girls – Emma Lawczynski; Div 2 boys – Reid Bellamy, Harper Shaman; Div 3 girls – Sierra Buchanan; Div 4 girls – Wren Shaman, Sophie Jansen; Div 6 boys – James Pilla; and Div 7 boys – Nick Welychko.

“Regionals went really well. We had 44 swimmers there and most had best times. Had some amazing swims. We had some that came out of nowhere. Some that qualified for provincials that we weren’t expecting to – so that was cool,” said head coach Mitch Bourne. “Some of our outstanding swimmers were one of our senior girls Kelsey Negreiff and one of our junior boys, he was having a rough time of it but he really took off at least five seconds off all his events and at least 16 seconds off his free style. That was Isaac  teBulte.”

Bourne said the entire Kootenay region performed well at the meet. At provincials all the club teams will merge into one and compete as the Kootenays.


“We did a bunch of cheers. When we go to provincials there’s only eight teams there [from throughout the province]. When we get there we try to work together as a region,” said Bourne. “All the coaches take part in coaching all the swimmers in warm-ups and with cheers.”


Heading into provincials, the Aquanauts have several medal contenders in various events in particular Nick Welychko, who won three golds at the regionals, and James Pilla, who won four golds.

Despite winning three golds at regionals, Welychko was not satisfied with his times.

“I didn’t do as good as I wanted to do. I’d like to be a bit faster,” said Welychko. “I’m expecting serious competition at provincials, and I’m hoping to improve my times and personal bests.”

Welychko has been to four provincial championships and placed top three in every event he had swam in. Last year, the 19 year-old finished first in all three of his events and picked up a provincial meet record.

In the fall, Welychko plans to attend Trinity Western University in Langley and swim for the varsity team.

For Sophie Jansen, provincials will be a completely new experience for the first year swimmer, but she is excited about the chance to compete against the province’s best.

“I’m going to see all the best swimmers in the province, it’ll be fun. I’m going to provincials in 200M IM, 50M freestyle, and 50M breaststroke,” said Jansen, who said she was pushed hard by all the strong swimmers at regionals. “It was hard but it was good and fun.”

She originally joined the Aquanauts because she had many friends who are members.

“A lot of my friends are in it which makes it much more fun and the coaches are great which makes it even more fun,” said Jansen.

Achieving personal bests at the regional meet were: Seraphina Welychko, Rachael, Isaac & Emilie teBulte, Carson Ogloff, Christopher Paulson, Eric Pilla, Noah Robertson, Cyan, Jintia & Tenysha Ross-Van Mierlo, Connor & Teague Salekin, Harper & Wren Shaman, Troy & Kelsey Negreiff, Ashlee Martini, Tia Malloff, Christina Maida-Cook, Ethan & Emma Lawczynski, Sophie Jansen, Lynden & Gabrielle Hanvold, Mackenzie & Blake Grantham, Emily & Jeffrey Ashton, Reid Bellamy, Mitchell Bourne, Sierra Buchanan, Claire Cartwright, Avery & Cayden Cooke & Karen Elliott.

Winning regional medals were: Bryce Anderson – bronze in 50m breaststroke

Emily Ashton – bronze in 50m fly & 50m backstroke; silver in 50m breaststroke

Jeffrey Ashton – bronze in 200 I.M. & 100 freestyle; silver in 50 fly

Reid Bellamy – bronze in 50 backstroke; silver in 100 I.M. & 50 breaststroke; gold in 50 fly

Mitchell Bourne – gold in 50 free, 100 fly, 100 back & 100 breast

Sierra Buchanan – bronze in 50 backstroke & 50 breaststroke

Claire Cartwright – gold in 50 free & 100 free

Cayden Cooke – bronze in 100 I.M. & 50 free; silver in 50 fly & 100 free

Gabrielle Hanvold – bronze in 100 I.M. & 100 free; silver in 50 fly; gold in 50 free

Lynden Hanvold – silver in 100 free

Genevieve Jin – silver in 50 fly; gold in 200 I.M., 100 breast & 100 free

Emma Lawczynski – bronze in 50 free; silver in 100 I.M.; gold in 50 back & 100 free

Ethan Lawczynski – silver in 100 I.M. & 50 breast

Kristen Marsh – bronze in 50 free & 100 breast

Troy Negreiff – silver in 100 backstroke

Carson Ogloff – silver in 50 free

Christopher Paulson – bronze in 100 breast & 100 free

Eric Pilla – silver in 50 free & 100 free

James Pilla – gold in 50 free, 100 fly, 100 back & 50fly

Noah Robertson – bronze in 100 back; silver in 200 I.M.

Cyan Ross-Van Mierlo – bronze in 50 free & 50 breast; gold in 50 back

Tenysha Ross-Van Mierlo – bronze in 50 fly; silver in 100 I.M., 50 breast & 100 free

Harper Shaman – gold in 100 I.M., 50 free, 50 breast & 100 free

Nicholous Welychko – gold in 200 I.M., 100 fly, 100 back & 100 free

Seraphina Welychko – bronze in 200 I.M. & 100 fly.





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