Surge swimmers strike gold hosting regional meet at Rhodes

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In total, 66 swimmers represented the Sault team with 328 new personal best times set

A swimmer from the Sault won gold medals in all eight events he entered in this past weekend’s regional meet at the John Rhodes pool.

Andrew Li’s success was among the highlights for the Sault Surge Aquatic Team that hosted nearly 250 athletes representing 10 teams from across Ontario’s North Eastern Region (NEOR) in the first competitive opportunity of the season for most of the youngsters.

In addition to his gold medal haul, Li also set a new club record in the boys 13-14 age group in the 100m backstroke in a time of 1:05.79, just short of qualifying for the Ontario swimming championships to be held February.

Li also set new club records for the 100 and 200 individual medley.

In total, 66 swimmers represented the Sault team with 328 new personal best times set, according to a news release.

Surge swimmers picked up a total of 110 medals from the weekend: 46 gold, 32 silver and 32 bronze, surpassing last season’s totals by 13 medals.

The local club registered 10 more event wins than rival Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club which picked up 36. 

Other highlights from the meet:

  • The surge boys 13-14 relay teams won both freestyle and medley relays with Li,  Oliver Bennetto, Alex Orazietti, and Owen Clement swimming strong relay legs to pick up wins in both relays. Clement also picked up two gold and three bronze medals. Orazietti claimed two silvers along with the relay win. Bennetto swam to five personal best times in individual events along with the relay win.
  • The 13-14 girls medley relay of Georgia Burns, Brie Reid, Alma Da Silva Castilego and Eva Robinson outpaced the nearest rival by almost eight seconds on their way to gold.  Da Silva Castillejo also swam personal best times in all events entered and picked up three individual gold medals. Burns picked up a gold, two silver and a bronze medal in her individual events. Reid swam to three gold and a silver in individual events. Robinson swam to five personal best times to add to relay gold. 
  • The 10 girls freestyle relay of Angela Thomson, Eva Moreau, Brooklyn Barber and Alana Hay combined to outpace the second place team by nearly 20 seconds to pick up gold. Thomson also swam to three gold, three silver and a bronze medal in individual events to go with the relay gold. Barber, Moreau and Hay each won an individual medal along with swimming a personal best time in nearly all events entered.

Other notable performances for the Surge were:

  • Noel Merlino who swam to all personal best times picking up six gold medals and one silver medal
  • Bernard Santos broke the one-minute mark swimming to a time of 59.73 in the 100m freestyle on his way to four medals and eight personal best times
  • William Paraniuk swam to one gold, one silver and two bronze competing in his first NEOR meet
  • Sophia Li picked up four gold, three silver and a bronze along with an Ontario Festivals qualifying time 
  • Emma Vallee earned two individual gold and three bronze medals to go along with the relay victory along with seven new personal best times 
  • Olivia Brock, Bo Mckay, Jalyn Baker, Jenna Morin, and Ryelind Pihlaja all swam to personal best times each time they hit the water for an event

The Surge hit the road for the first Top Fish meet of the year for 12/under swimmers hosted by the Valley East Waves swim club this upcoming weekend.

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