By Mat LaBranche
Beatrice Weiss-Reid of the Greater Ottawa Kingfish may be dealing with some neck problems after hauling off seven medals from the 2018 AA Ontario Provincial Swimming Championships.
“My coach told me to just swim my hardest and see what happens,” revealed Weiss-Reid. “I got a bit discouraged after my first race, but I put that behind me and moved onto the next race. I was surprised at the result when I got on the podium for the first time, and then realized that I could keep doing it.”
Individually in the 13 and Under category, Weiss-Reid captured gold in the 50 metre and 200 m free events, silver in the 400 m free and bronze in the 800 m free. Additionally, she snagged a gold and two silvers in the open 800 m free, 14U 400 m free and 14U 200 m free relays, respectively.
“When I first started competing, I definitely wasn’t at this level,” admitted Weiss-Reid. “As I kept going with these meets, I learned how to calm myself down. I was definitely nervous for this one, but I was able to remain calm and try to focus on what I had to do.”
Other prominent GO Kingfish performances included Taylor Elliott (gold in the 14U 400 m free and open 800 m free relay and silver in the 14U 800 m free, 200 m free, 400 m free relay and 200 m free relay); Meredith Colhane (gold in the 15O 100 m back, silver in the 15O 400 m IM and 200 m medley relay and bronze in the 15O 200 m breast and 400 m free relay, as well as the 14O 200 m free relay) and Jeffrey Huang (gold in the 14U 800 m and 1,500 m free events and the open 800 m free relay, as well as bronze in the 14U 400 m free).
“Overall the performances were great,” said youth lead coach, Simon St. Pierre. “The finals turned out to be a bit tougher, but when they got there they did well. A lot of the kids performed personal bests too, which was awesome. We also had a lot of 4th to 6th place finishes, just missing out on some more medals.”
St. Pierre, a former Kingfish swimmer himself, saw the meet as a very rewarding experience, and pointed to the team’s training as being indicative of their performances.
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“I wasn’t that surprised,” disclosed the 21-year coaching veteran. “Usually it’s the kids who put the most work in who end up having the best swim meets. It doesn’t mean they will win medals, but usually they will be the ones who are dropping their times. It’s always nice to see the hard work that the kids put in pay off at the end of the line.”
Also representing Ottawa at the ‘AA’ Provincial Championships, on behalf of Swim Ottawa, was Grace Charness, receiving silver in the 14U 100 m breast and 400 m medley relay and bronze in the 14U 400 m free relay. Meanwhile, competing at the ‘A’ Provincial Championships, Julie Brousseau captured bronze in the 13U 100 m breast.