Crofton’s Kennadie Sheppard made a big splash by winning two medals and narrowly missing a third as part of the Ladysmith Chemainus Orcas Swim Club’s three-person contingent in the Winter Age Group Championships at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre.
Sheppard and Ladysmith’s Anna Fairweather were in the field of B.C.’s top 12 and under girls while Ladysmith’s Massimo Dagostini battled the best of the 13 and under boys swimmers at the championships.
Sheppard, 11, a Chemainus Elementary School student, claimed a silver medal in her 200 metre backstroke and bronze in the 100 free, both with personal bests. She also achieved personal best times in her 200 free, 100m back and 400 free.
Sheppard was just a fraction off personal bests in her other two events. The 50 free was especially dramatic, as she was not only a mere .04 off a personal best with a swim of 29.88, but also missed a medal by 1/100 of a second with the top finishers bunched together.
Fairweather, 11, swam to personal bests in the 100 breast, 100 free, 50 free and 200 breast, recovering well after choking on water in her 400 individual medley.
Massimo Dagostini, 13, achieved personal best times in the 50 free, 200 breast, 200 individual medley and 200 free.
Coach Brandon Gonzales was confident that the dedicated training of the young swimmers this season would bring great rewards. ‘We have been working diligently on techniques and building positive self talk,’’ he confirmed.
All swimmers have ambitious goals heading into long course (50 metre) portion of the season.
Sheppard is heading to Winnipeg for the Prairie Winter Invitational and will also be going to the Far Westerns again in California during July.