Golden weekend in the pool
Alberta Summer Games: Okotokian nabs five gold to lead Zone 2
Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 06:00 am
The third trip through the Summer Games was the charm for a prolific Okotoks swimmer.
Foothills Stingray Chyanne Simpson took home a staggering five gold medals in swimming at the 2014 Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie to highlight a fruitful weekend in the pool for foothills swimmers.
“Our training has changed and we (Stingrays) have been doing really well so it was very exciting to see how it turns out,” said Simpson, who previously competed at the Games in Peace River in 2010 and Lethbridge in 2012. “Summer Games, I don’t really think of it as more of a competition, I feel like it’s more for fun and experience.
“The thing I will probably remember the most is the times in between the race when we’re hanging out together. It was pretty cool to see how close we got in a week’s time … Of all the three, this one was my favourite one.”
When it came time to get into competition mode, Simpson zeroed in on gold-medal swims in the 50m and 200m backstroke, 100m and 200m butterfly and 4x50m freestyle relay. Simpson added a silver medal in the 50m butterfly.
“Relays are lots of fun and it’s really exciting because the adrenaline is pumping before you can even swim,” said Simpson, who was the relay anchor. “We were pretty neck and neck and I went last to bring it home.”
Fellow Stingray Emilia Hesterman netted a double gold in Airdrie, posting a first-place finish in the 50m breaststroke and swimming the breaststroke leg of Zone 2’s gold medal race in the 4x50m medley relay. She added silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in both 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly.
“It was really exciting because we were so close to the other team and we really wanted to get the points for our team,” Hesterman said of the relay. “We tied for the backstroke and then I got them ahead by two or three seconds and we held the lead.
“We missed out on the banner by two points (to Zone 3). It came down to the boys relay and they came second… It was really close that’s why there was so much pressure.”
Three members of the Stingrays handled the pressure of relay competition just fine. Alycia Weber, Rachel Sylvestre and Kaitlyn Lumby formed three-quarters of Zone 2’s gold-medal winning quartet in the 4x50m medley relay in the 12-13 age group.
“At the end of the weekend Zone 2 and Zone 3 were neck and neck, it was really close and we really needed the points so it was really exciting for our relay,” said Weber, who swam the backstroke leg. “I touched first in the backstroke, I was happy we got a lead and everyone on our relay got a best time.”
Weber collected a pair of silver in the 50m backstroke and 4x50m freestyle relay along with bronze medal finishes in the 200m and 100m backstroke as well as the 50m butterfly.
Sylvestre, from DeWinton, earned a medal of every colour. She was a silver medallist in the 200m breaststroke and took the bronze in the 100m breaststroke to go along with her medley relay gold. Okotoks’ Lumby earned a silver in the 200m backstroke.
Elsewhere, Millarville’s Mitchel Ochitwa brought home four medals from Airdrie. The Foothills Stingray earned silver in the 200m IM and breaststroke as well as bronze medal finishes in the 100m and 50m breaststroke.
All told, Big Country finished with the second largest haul at the 2014 Summer Games with 54 gold, 50 silver and 47 bronze. The Calgary-based Zone 3 finished with the most medals.
For the full list of results go to 2014airdriegames.ca