Trail swimmers took their talents to the next level, as the recently formed Greater Trail Swim Club (GTSC) swam to impressive results at the Iron Triple Pentathlon Swim Meet in Penticton earlier this month.
The newly formed winter club will complement the venerable Trail Stingrays summer swim club that has excelled in the area for years, but with a more national flavour.
“It adds another level of competitive swimming to the already successful Home of Champions,” says club spokesman Sharman Thomas. “The GTSC will be the next step for those swimmers that wish to compete regularly at provincial and national competitions.”
The club, led by coach Cody Flegel, competed in the three day Pentathlon Swim Meet which sees swimmers swim up to 15 races in five disciplines, including freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, and individual medley, ranging from 25-metre to 400-metre swims.
The 11 Greater Traill swimmers shocked other competitors winning medals and setting personal bests against top teams from across the province.
“These kids have been swimming 12 to 13 hours a week in training and I’m very proud of every one of them for stepping up and racing as hard as they did at their first winter meet,” said coach Flegel. “We have such a great group of swimmers as well as parents which is very important at this level of competition.”
Every swimmer from the GTSC swam personal best times in Penticton with some truly stunning results coming from Dylan and Eden Kormendy, and James Pilla to name a few.
Dylan’s times in the 200 IM and 400 IM ranked him number one in Canada, while his sister Eden Kormendy placed first overall for the girls 12 and under category, and Pilla won three events earning him the silver trophy overall in the 15 and over boys – all in their very first meet.
The winter club competition is a new level of competitive swimming, and opens the door to opportunities like university scholarships, Swimming Canada affiliation, and training with Canada’s elite swimmers.
Eric Gonzales said “It feels great to be back in the water. In Penticton I was anxious about competing in longer, more difficult events but the training that we have received made it feel as if it were second nature. With this new “league” I was able to experience an elevated level of competition.”
Coach Flegel had a distinguished swimming career at the University of Victoria and swam with the national swim team from 2007-11, so knows what it takes to compete at the highest level.
The team trains six days a week at the Trail Aquatic Centre, to prepare them for the next great challenge which goes in Vernon next month.