The Sylvan Lake Nauticals navigated the 2015 Alberta Age Group Trials North on Feb. 27, 28 and March 1, winning 10 gold medals and five silver medals with six swimmers competing at the event in Edmonton.
The team finished seventh in the medal count and tied for fourth with 10 golds out of 21 teams.
Molly Cocks, 11, swam in four events on the weekend and had three personal best times in the 50 free, 100 breast and 400 free. This was Molly’s first meet at a provincial level and she performed well.
Michael Carson, 13, swam in seven events and had personal best times in the 200 IM, 200 free, 50 free, 50 fly and 100 IM. He made finals in the 100 IM and placed sixth.
Isaac Bahler, 10, competed in the 11-and-under category and reached finals in five events: the 400 free, 100 free, 200 free, 50 free and 50 back. He was seeded first in the 50 free heading into the final, however, nerves and butterflies got the best of him, causing him to fault start and he was disqualified. He shook it off and came back for the 200 freestyle half an hour later and captured a silver medal. He also earned his 11-year-old meet qualifying time in the 100 IM, and his 12-year-old meet qualifying time in the 400 free.
Tyler Gauthier, 15, finished his last Alberta Age Group competition, as he will be moving on to compete in the senior age group, with one gold and two silvers. In his 100 fly final, Tyler was seeded fourth going into the final, and pulled off his gold medal win with a touch at the wall, beating out another swimmer by one tenth of a second — a tight race and a sweet win. His silver medal came in the 200 fly, and in the process he broke the 15-year-old club record, which was previously broken and held by his twin brother, Matthew, three weeks earlier. His other silver medal was won in the 200 breast, in which he earned his 15-year-old A time. He also made finals in the 50 fly, 100 IM and 50 back.
Noah Andrews, 13, made six finals, winning two golds and two silvers. In his 100 free gold medal win, he also broke the 13-year-old club record. He earned his silver medals in the 400 free and 50 free. In a rarity in any sport, there was a tie for first in the 200 free for gold. Noah led in the first 100 meters by only three tenths of a second, while the other swimmer led after 150 meters by three one hundredths of a second. Then at the touch of the wall, the scoreboard showed a tie for first, resulting in a big “wow” from the crowd. That was what we all call an exciting race. He also made finals in the 50 fly, 100 fly and 50 back.
Matthew Gauthier, 13, pulled off the sweep: seven gold medals in seven events in his final Alberta Age Group competition, as he also will be moving on to the senior age group category. During his preliminaries, he finished first in all seven events, thus earning the fourth lane in the eight-lane pool. The fourth lane is assigned to the fastest swimmer in finals.
In his 200 IM and 400 IM, he broke club records in the 15-year-old category and earned his 15-year-old A times. In the 100 IM, he bettered his own club record and earned his 15-year-old A time. In the 50 and 100 meter breast strokes, he earned his 16-17-year-old A time. Also, in the 50 and 100 meter freestyles, he broke 15-year-old club records.
Not to be forgotten, the boys also competed in the relays. The team of Michael, Tyler, Noah and Matthew competed in the 4 x 50 freestyle relay on Friday evening and finished a strong fourth. They also set a new club record with a time of 1:56.38 in the 15-year-old-and-under category, unfortunately coming up short of winning a bronze medal by less than one second. On Saturday evening, the 4 x 50 medley relay events were showcased and the team of Isaac (backstroke), Tyler (breaststroke), Noah (butterfly) and Matthew(freestyle) finished in fourth place. An outstanding showing for the boys relay teams.