Sheppard herds in the gold medals during provincial meet

Chemainus swimmer makes a big impact in individual and relay events

Chemainus’ Kennedie Sheppard enjoyed a successful B.C. Summer Swimming Association championship in Kamloops. (Photo submitted)

Chemainus’ Kennedie Sheppard enjoyed a successful B.C. Summer Swimming Association championship in Kamloops. (Photo submitted)

Summer success is no different from the winter season for Chemainus swim sensation Kennadie Sheppard.

Competing for the Nanaimo White Rapids in the B.C. Summer Swimming Association’s provincial championships in Kamloops, she set a blistering pace in all her Open Category 1 division events for young swimmers who also train and compete year-round.

Sheppard, 12, a Grade 7 student at Chemainus Secondary School, attained first place in the 100 metre Individual Medley in 1:12.22. Her swim surpassed the provincial championship record of 1:13.14.

Sheppard’s 50 metre freestyle (29.86 seconds), 50 metre butterfly (32.05 seconds) and 100 freestyle (1:05.25 seconds) also resulted in gold medals.

In the preliminary heats of the 200 metre freestyle relay, Sheppard’s team set a provincial championship record time of 2:10.37, edging the old record of 2:10.83. Her teammates included: Hannah Duffell, Rowyn Vincent and Aurora Richards.

A silver medal went to Sheppard and her 200 metre medley relay teammates Vincent (backstroke), Richards (breaststroke) and Sierra Jones (butterfly) in 2:28.43. Sheppard swam the freestyle.

Overall, Sheppard had an amazing season, setting 23 Nanaimo White Rapids club records, including relays. Em McGibbon and Finn Bodnar have been her primary coaches over the last two years with the White Rapids.

“There’s no doubt that Kennadie works hard and has earned all of her success this year,” noted McGibbon. “She always pushes her limits in workout and is willing to tweak her strokes so that she can go even faster. She has worked so hard on things like her breath control, the speed of her turns and the art of racing herself. All of her hard work and dedication to swimming has really paid off.”

“Over the last two years, Kennadie has shown the level of work ethic and determination that every coach hopes for,” added Bodnar. “She aims to be the best of the best in her division, never taking a day off while trying to achieve her goals.”

Sheppard swims with the Ladysmith Chemainus Orcas Swim Club during the winter season.