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Ladysmith-Chemainus swimmer splashes to the podium at provincials

Gonzales a backstroke specialist
Ladysmith-Chemainus Swim Club member Colton Gonzales made the podium three times at winter provincials. (Photo submitted)

Ladysmith Chemainus Orcas Swim Club member Colton Gonzales, 13, represented the club well during the four-day Winter Provincials.

SwimBC and Island Swimming hosted the 2023 long course competition at Saanich Commonwealth Games Pool from March 2-5. The event attracted 42 teams from across the province.

Nearly 600 youth swimmers competed against the other fastest B.C. swimmers in their age group. As the lone local youth, Gonzales’ hours of training in the pool paid off as he swam his way to success and earned a podium finish three times.

Gonzales has knack for the backstroke events, winning a medal in each of the three distances of 50 metres, 100m and 200m. He swam hard for a gold medal in the boys 13-14-year-old 100 backstroke in a time of 1:01.64, a silver in the 50 backstroke in 28.5 seconds and a bronze in the 200 in 2:21.26.

Gonzales’ efforts established him as the fastest 13-year-old boy in the 50 and 100 backstroke events in all of Canada this season.

He described the competition as fierce. “I enjoy swimming against fast swimmers as it really pushes me to dig deep and go harder.”

While proud of his performances at provincials, Gonzales has a goal to achieve the fastest national record time for 13-year-old boys in the backstroke events. According to the Canadian record board for the age group, Gonzales is currently third fastest in the 50 and fifth fastest in the 100 backstroke.

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Ladysmith-Chemainus Swim Club member Colton Gonzales is currently the third fastest boys’ 13-year-old swimmer in Canada in the 50-metre backstroke. (Photo submitted)