The Kitimat Marlins sent four swimmers to the AAA Provincial long course (50 metre pool) swimming Championships in Victoria.
The AAA is the highest provincial level with the best of the best swimmers competing.
More than 650 swimmers aged 10 and over were in attendance.
With no swimmers from the Marlins qualifying for AAA provincials last season, to have four there this year has been a testament to the great improvement by the swimmers and the Marlins as a whole.
Kleanza Cathers (11), in her first AAA Provincial Championship, led the way. In her first race of the weekend, the 100m butterfly, she snuck into the finals (to make a final you must finish in the top 8) with a solid swim finishing 8th.
In the final she improved from the morning by another two seconds to finish 6th.
In the 200m butterfly Kleanza had a good swim in the preliminaries, placing 9th and just missing a spot in the finals. However a girl from Kelowna got sick and scratched the final allowing her to again make it in.
Kleanza didn’t waste the opportunity and went out as fast as she could go in this gruelling event. She took off an amazing 22 seconds off her personal best time – the biggest improvement out of any swimmer from Northwest BC.
She again finished 6th only 2 seconds away from the bronze medal in this tight race.
And her time was fast enough to qualify her for AAA Provincials in the 12-year-old division next season. Kleanza went personal best times in all six of her events.
Kyler Cordeiro (16), competing in the tough 16-and-over category, went personal best times in all six of his races.
He also competed in the gruelling 5km open water swim held at Thetis lake and had his best placing a 6th place finish.
Kyler has qualified for Age Group Nationals this season and will be competing at the Age Group Nationals held in Montreal at the end of the month.
Arthur Firmino (17), also competing in the 16-over category, went personal best times in four out of his six swims in the pool.
Firmino also competed in the 5 km open water swim and had his best placing, a 7th overall.
Daphne Howell (14), competing in the 14-year-old girl category and racing the last time for the Kitimat Marlins as her family is moving to Vancouver, had a good swim meet with personal best times in five out of six of her events.
Her best placing was in the 200m Butterfly, 14th overall.